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Law Firm Withdraws Offer to Student With Aggressive Anti-Israel Message

New York University law student Ryna Workman told fellow members of the Student Bar Association that "Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous loss of life" for Hamas' actions in Israel. Workman also told the organization they head, "This regime of state-sanctioned violence created the conditions that made resistance necessary."

Winston & Strawn learned that Workman, a former summer associate with a post-grad job offer from the firm, had published these comments. The law firm said the comments "profoundly conflict" with the firm's values, and it rescinded the student's job offer. NYU's law school dean also came out against the statements, making it clear that the student did not speak for the school. In a statement to the New York Times, the dean suggested the school may be investigating Workman in response to allegations of bias. Other Student Bar Association members said they did not approve the message and were circulating a petition to remove Workman from their position.

Other higher education institutions, including Harvard, also faced division among their student groups. According to The New York Times, approximately 30 Harvard student groups published a statement blaming Israel for the terrorism. The university issued a statement indicating that these groups did not speak on its behalf. Some business leaders wanted to know the names of the individuals to block them from future employment. Five of those groups retracted signatures on petitions holding Israel wholly responsible for the murder and kidnapping of Israeli citizens. These retractions came as more details emerged about the extent of what had happened.