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Fordham Bans Reed Smith Recruiters

In what reporter Gina Passarella in The Legal Intelligencer calls an example of the current economic climate's "uncharted waters" and "choppy tides," Fordham Law School yesterday took the highly unusual andWtreanor perhaps even unprecedented step of banning the international law firm Reed Smith, the 16th-ranked firm on this year's Am Law 100, from interviewing on campus for five years.

The ban, first reported yesterday on the blog Above the Law, came after Reed Smith notified the school that it was canceling interviews in September running Aug. 12 through Aug. 19, for which students were already scheduled. That meant the unfortunate students who had signed up for those interviews had lost a potentially valuable interview slot.

Fordham Dean William Michael Treanor (pictured) called Reed Smith's action unprofessional and disappointing. In an e-mail sent to students and faculty (republished by Above the Law), he informed them of the news and of his decision to impose the ban.

While disappointing, Reed Smith's action is more disheartening because of the lack of professionalism it conveys. The firm could have made its decision earlier; in fact, it received its interview schedule prior to canceling its participation. In my seven years as Dean, no other firm has canceled its interviews after the schedule was released. Thus, we have informed the firm that it will not be invited to participate in our OCI program for the next 5 years. I have never imposed such a sanction on an employer, and I was saddened to do so.

At Fordham Law, we require our students to conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism, and we expect employers to demonstrate the same high standards.

At Reed Smith, Michael B. Pollack, the firm's global head of strategy, told The Legal Intelligencer that he suspects the ban will not be good for either the firm or the students and that he hopes Treanor will reconsider. "We're trying to run a business just like he's trying to run a law school and I appreciate the pressures that he is under and I would hope he would appreciate the pressures we're under," Pollack said.

Reed Smith will have a summer program next year, he said, but it will be smaller than in recent years. Reed Smith will still interview Fordham students, he added, but at its offices and not on campus.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 13, 2009 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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