Have you forgotten what retired federal judge Alex Kozinski was accused of? Because apparently Jenner & Block has.
Let’s back it up a minute, and walk through Kozinski’s fall from grace for those in the back. In 2017, Kozinski retired (with full benefits) amid a sexual harassment scandal that rocked the legal world. While the jurist was somewhat famous in legal circles for his bawdy sense of humor, the extent of the alleged harassment — asking women clerks to view pornography with him in his chambers, making inappropriate sexual comments, and verbal abuse heaped on females working in his chambers — was more hidden. However, the Washington Post’s exposé on the judge sparked an avalanche of over a dozen women coming forward to share their problematic experiences with the judge.
His retirement ended the official inquiry into his behavior, and there were concerns that those determining when and if Kozinski gets to come back into the fold of the legal world would be doing so without the benefit of a full investigation. And it looks like those concerns were well founded. Kozinski began his rehabilitation tour by co-authoring an appellate brief in a prominent case. Now he’s getting taken out to dinner by a Biglaw firm.
As law school professor and Kozinski accuser Leah Litman noted, the retired judge showed up at an Association of Business Trial Lawyers event, sitting at Jenner & Block’s table.
It’s an odd choice for the firm, whose Twitter account touts it as a “values-driven law firm” (as is repeatedly mentioned in the replies to Litman’s tweet). To be clear, this means the firm is comfortable having a man credibly and repeatedly accused of sexual misconduct as their guest. That has to feel shitty if you’re a woman at the firm (or a law student thinking about working at Jenner) or just a person who cares about sexual harassment to know that your firm values the residual glitter of a once-noteworthy legal career over taking a principled stance on gender inequality.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).