Law Students Band Together to Hold Big Firms Accountable For Climate Decisions

Law Students Band Together to Hold Big Firms Accountable For Climate Decisions

The Gibson Dunn law firm is known for its anti-environmental clients and for representing fossil fuel companies like Chevron and the corporation behind the Dakota Pipeline. In a statement on Wednesday, The Law Students for Accountability (LSCA) said the firm should "set an ethical standard for representing fossil fuel companies." Now, law students from across the country have adopted the #DonewithDunn boycott, encouraging other students to join the movement.

The firm's problematic involvement includes: Lobbying for the Koch Industries and that a vast majority of Gibson Dunn's funding comes from the fossil fuels industry.

Why this Matters

The law student-led campaign shows that grassroots organizing can actually make substantial change. The Nation states "Law Students for Climate Accountability, an organization that scores law firms based on their environmental activities, gave the [Gibson Dunn] an F this year, the lowest score possible

The firm is also known to woo recent grads -- swimming in student loan debt -- into employment with "high pay, diversity initiatives and pro bono opportunities." Once on the job, new hires are disheartened to find themselves assigned to overturn COVID eviction notices or work on cases for clients in the oil and gas industries.

Gibson Dunn Case Study

Steven Donzinger is an environmental activist who has been personally attacked by the Gibson Dunn firm after "he won a landmark pollution case against the oil giant in Ecuadorian courts in 2013 for contaminating an area of rainforest the size of Rhode Island," according to The Nation. Donzinger worked alongside the Amazon Defense Coalition, a grassroots organization working to stand up to the big oil drilling that is taking place within the amazon, including the contamination of up to 30,000 Ecuadoirian's land and water supplies.

Law&Crime Network: Brian Ross Investigates - Lawyer Steven Donziger Who Took on Chevron Reports to Prison, November 5, 2021.