The conservative activist behind the Supreme Court case that struck down affirmative action in college admissions this year is suing two international law firms for providing diversity fellowships.
The two lawsuits filed by the American Alliance for Equal Rights this week against law firms Perkins Coie and Morrison & Foerster allege that the diversity fellowships they offer “are expressly refusing to contract with certain applicants based on their race and ethnicity,” according to a statement from the group. The lawsuits were filed in federal court in Dallas and Miami.
Perkins Coie offers diversity fellowships that awards summer associates from underrepresented communities a $15,000 stipend and another $10,000 if they join the firm. Morrison & Foerster, offers similar programs, including a diversity training initiative.
“As a firm, we have been a leader in efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the legal profession. Our commitment to those values remains steadfast,” a representative of Perkins Coie said in a statement to CNN. “We will defend this lawsuit vigorously.”
Morrison & Foerster did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Corporate diversity programs have come under fire lately from conservative politicians and activists. But companies have maintained their support for inclusion initiatives. Filing briefs with the Supreme Court during its affirmative action ca