Law Students Pledge They Won’t Enable Gun Violence
GIFFORDS, March For Our Lives Launch Initiative to Empower Law Students in the Fight Against Gun Violence
Washington DC — Today GIFFORDS and March For Our Lives launched a new initiative to empower law students to say that they will not enable the gun violence epidemic. With this initiative, GIFFORDS and March For Our Lives are providing a framework for law students to ask these questions and to stand together to say that they will not defend gun irresponsible gun companies. Law students have a responsibility to uphold their own ethical standards and the unique power to change the culture in the private bar.
Young lawyers are often forced to represent gun companies, whose irresponsible conduct has caused guns to become the leading cause of death for American children. This pledge aims to stop law firms from forcing junior lawyers to defend a gun company if their personal moral objections would prevent them from acting with the commitment and dedication that lawyers are required to show their clients. Additionally, the effort will encourage transparency to enable law students to know whether a prospective job would require representing irresponsible gun companies.
Law students have the power to determine their own futures when choosing an employer and should feel empowered to seek one that reflects their core values. During the recruitment process, law students should ask potential employers if they represent gun industry clients, and if they do, whether they allow lawyers to decline to represent those clients.
David Pucino, Deputy Chief Counsel, GIFFORDS Law Center:
“Law students have the unique opportunity to stand up for their beliefs and create change. And no one should be forced to enable the companies that are causing the gun violence epidemic. By standing together, law students can make it clear that the next generation of lawyers will not defend the indefensible. And it all starts by asking law firms if they recognize these ethical commitments.”
Brynn Jones, Legal Associate, March For Our Lives:
“Like every young person in America today, law students have grown up as part of the lockdown generation. Law students and young lawyers have all experienced the terror of gun violence and many of us have experienced the devastation of gun violence in our own communities. By pledging not to defend firearm manufacturers, law students are promising not to defend death, but instead to use their expertise and talent for safety and well-being. March For Our Lives is eagerly building the future we want, not accepting how things are today, and we’re so pleased to invite our peers in law schools to join us.”
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