Canadian law firms urge law schools to address reports of anti-Semitic incidents on campuses

Photo: Andrii Koval/Getty Images/Canva

In a collective response to growing concerns about unacceptable conduct on university campuses, more than 80 Canadian law firms have taken a significant step.

These firms have sent a letter to the deans of all Canadian law schools, expressing their alarm over recent reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism, and assaults occurring on these campuses. It also called out Islamophobia, racism and other forms of violence, hatred and bigotry.

This initiative underscores the legal community’s commitment to upholding Canadian values of respect, safety, and security.

The letter, sent in both English and French, calls on law school deans to provide guidance and protection to students, ensuring a balance between free speech and the safety and dignity of all individuals.

“Over the last several weeks, we have been alarmed by the surging reports of anti-Semitic harassment, vandalism and assaults on university campuses,” it read. “These include protesters calling for the death of Jews. Such anti-Semitic acts would never be tolerated at any of our law firms, nor should they be tolerated at our Canadian universities.”

Specifically, the firms have zero tolerance for racism, discrimination, or harassment, whether on campuses, in workplaces, or within communities. They have urged the deans to adopt a similar stance in their institutions.

“Let us be clear: there is no room for anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism or any other form of violence, hatred or bigotry on your campuses, in our workplaces or our communities,” it said. “As employers who recruit from each of your law schools, we look to you to ensure your students are prepared to join workplace communities such as ours that have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination or harassment.”

Reports have highlighted incidents, including protesters calling for the death of Jews and the acceptance of student societies and outside groups that have been engaging in acts of harassment and threats of violence. Some of these groups have shown support for Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries, including Canada and the United States.

The law firms emphasize the responsibility of university leaders to foster an environment where key Canadian values, including respect, equality, safety, and peace, are upheld. They acknowledge the importance of discourse on various issues at universities but stress the need to manage this discourse responsibly, ensuring the safety and security of students.

The signatory firms, which recruit from these law schools, have made it clear that they prohibit any form of discrimination, hostility, or harassment in their workplaces. They expect the law schools to prepare students to join work communities with similar values and standards.

In addition to expressing their concerns, the firms have invited the deans for a meeting to engage in a respectful dialogue and to understand how these serious issues are being addressed with urgency. The letter represents a collective effort by the legal community to ensure that Canadian law schools remain safe and respectful environments for all students.

Law firms that signed the letter

  • Allen McDonald Swartz LLP
  • Anglehart et al.
  • Azancot & Associates Inc.
  • Bereskin & Parr LLP
  • Boro Frigon Gordon Jones
  • Breder Law
  • Brownlee LLP
  • Chaitons LLP
  • Choueke Hollander LLP
  • Consumer Law Group Inc.
  • Cooper, Sandler, Shime & Schwartzentruber LLP
  • Cozen O’Connor
  • De Grandpré Chait LLP
  • De Louya Markakis Avocats
  • Derhy Lawyers and Notaries
  • Diamond & Diamond LLP
  • DLA Piper
  • Duncan Craig LLP
  • Dunton Rainville, L.L.P.
  • Eidelmann Law Inc.
  • Epstein Cole LLP
  • Fishman Flanz Meland Paquin LLP
  • Fogelman Law PC
  • Francis Mehr LLP
  • FWCanada
  • Gluckstein Lawyers
  • Goldman, Spring, Kichler & Sanders LLP
  • Goodman, Solomon & Gold
  • Green and Spiegel LLP
  • Greenspoon Lawyers
  • Guardian Law Group
  • Halpern Law Group
  • Hatch Law
  • Hladun & Company 
  • Hoffer Adler LLP
  • Igor Ellyn ADR
  • JML Law Corporation
  • Kahn Zack Ehrlich Lithwick LLP
  • Kaufman Lawyers LLP
  • KRB Lawyers
  • Kugler Kandestin LLP
  • Labarge Weinstein
  • Law Office of Cynthia Lauer
  • Law Office of Harriet Altman
  • Lax O’Sullivan Lisus Gottlieb
  • Leo Adler Law
  • Leora Shemesh Criminal Law
  • Levine Frishman S.E.N.C.
  • Levy Tsotsis 
  • Lex Group Inc.
  • MacDonald & Partners LLP
  • Manis Law
  • MBM Intellectual Property LLP
  • McCague Borlack LLP
  • McLennan Ross LLP
  • Neuberger & Partners LLP
  • Parlee McLaws LLP
  • Pinto Law
  • Pitblado LLP
  • Rachlin & Wolfson LLP
  • Ravinsky Ryan Lemoine
  • Robins Appleby LLP
  • Robinson Sheppard Shapiro LLP
  • Rosen Sunshine LLP
  • Rosenstein Law
  • Scharfstein LLP
  • Schneider Legal
  • Segev LLP
  • Shadley Knerr s.e.n.c.r.l.
  • SOS Legal
  • Speigel Nichols Fox LLP
  • Spiegel Sohmer Inc.
  • Stein & Stein Inc.
  • Steinbergs LLP
  • Taylor & Blair LLP
  • Teplitsky LLP
  • Tilda M. Roll, Professional Corp
  • Torkin Manes LLP
  • Tutino Joseph Grégoire
  • Victor Vallance Blais LLP
  • Wagner Sidlofsky LLP
  • WLG Law