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Yale Study Finds Anti-jewish Bias Still Practiced in N.Y. Law Firms

Bias against Jewish law school graduates is “on the wane” among law firms in New York, but young Jewish attorneys still find it more difficult than Christians to get jobs and partnership promotions, and also earn less in their early years of practice than do their Christian classmates, an article in the current issue of the Yale Law Journal, published today, declared.

Under a grant from the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, the Law Journal stated, a study was made of the experiences of the last 12 Yale Law School graduating classes. Researchers used as their major sources of information replies to questionnaires sent to about 600 alumni, interviews with partners in 30 major New York law firms who take an active role in the hiring of young legal talent; and interviews with 20 members of the School’s last graduating class at a time when they were attempting to find Jobs with New York law firms.

On the whole, the resulting data showed, the average New York law firm which accepts Jewish graduates is smaller-than the average firm to which Christian students go; Jewish students are less successful than their Gentile contemporaries in getting into the higher-paying firms; 87 percent of the Christian graduates were accepted in firms among their first three choices, against 64 percent of Jewish students. The study also found, however, that, in some instances, Jewish graduates have “erected their own barriers” simply by not applying for jobs with some firms.

(In New York, Dore Schary, national chairman of the ADL, attributed the decline in discrimination to “the changing standards of our society which have made more and more unacceptable attitudes that were once ‘respectable’ though unfair.” He added: “That any prejudice should still exist in this profession, however, is a doubly painful fact because their training and work should cause lawyers to have fewer prejudices of this kind than the population generally.”)

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