2021 Law Firm Climate Change Scorecard

The dashboard gave each of the law firms listed in the Vault Law 100 – a list published annually of the country`s 100 most prestigious law firms – a climate rating of between A and F. A total of 36 companies received an F rating, while only three received an A rating. The group`s report found that the top 100 companies enabled $1.36 trillion in fossil fuel transactions, an increase of $50 billion from last year`s report. It also found that the top 100 companies have negotiated a total of 358 cases for fossil fuel customers over the past five years, compared to 275 cases in last year`s report. The LSCA dashboard ranks companies based on the scope of their work with fossil fuels into three categories: litigation, transactional work, and lobbying Last month, Law Students for Climate Accountability, a national network of law students founded in 2020 by seven students from Yale Law School, has published its second Climate Scoreboard, which assesses the role of the best law firms in the climate crisis. “In very real terms, these are law firms that use their skills to build refineries that pollute colorful communities, or to increase pipelines and drilling that cause the emissions that cause the climate-related disasters we`ve seen this summer,” organization co-founder Tim Hirschel-Burns LAW told the news. Law students for climate liability have just released their 2021 climate change law firm dashboard. Only 3 firms received an A rating – Cooley LLP, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP Law Students for Climate Accountability (LSCA), a coalition of law students determined to hold the legal industry accountable for their role in the ongoing climate crisis, today released its 2022 Climate Change Law Firm Dashboard. The report, which follows similar dashboards released in 2020 and 2021, describes how the vast majority of Vault Law 100 (Vault 100) firms in 2022 conduct massive amounts of legal transactions on behalf of fossil fuel clients. The calculation points to a troubling conclusion: as our climate crisis worsens rapidly, more than 90% of the 100 companies are doing work – billions of dollars in work – that will only worsen the critical state of our world.

For them, short-term profits come first. As EMMETT Barnes, a student at UCLA Law and lead author of the report, put it in the LSCA press release, the decision to “adopt more new fossil fuels than new renewables is a clear sign that they don`t fear the consequences of this election.” When you make the decision this way, it`s not just about feeling good – it`s about making a statement. Barnes said in the press release: “With this dashboard, LSCA is giving students – as well as potential Vault 100 customers – the opportunity to use their position to express a resounding rejection from companies representing fossil fuel companies.” “The next generation of lawyers will not turn a blind eye to mass climate injustice, and companies that refuse to take the climate crisis seriously should prepare their recruitment in one fell swoop.” Recent organizing campaigns include #DoneWithDunn where law students demonstrated outside the offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and boycotted the law firm, and #DropExxon where law students disrupted and held a recruitment event for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. “We are at a critical juncture where we need all sectors of our society to do everything in their power to avert the deepest crisis people have ever faced,” climate activist Bill McKibben said in the dashboard`s press release. “That the great law decided to fan the flames instead should make everyone angry” If the law is to be a pillar of social stability, it is enough to master the crisis that is currently engulfing us.â LSCA was founded in 2020 by a group of law students to study the role of the legal industry in global climate change. Cooley is a member of the Law Firm Sustainability Network and the Legal Sustainability Alliance, both of which are committed to promoting the benefits of environmental sustainability and corporate social responsibility in their member firms and across the legal industry. You can read the 2022 dashboard here and read LSCA`s press release here. LSCA expects the dashboard to also lead to smaller, more personal protests. The dashboard is published just days before the Harvard Law Early Interview Program (EIP) interview week. While the fossil fuel industry`s stranglehold on the corporate legal world is one of the many reasons why students who have the financial means should skip BigLaw interviews altogether, law students at HLS and elsewhere who participate in such interviews can use the dashboard as a tool for selecting companies.

Climate change affects all aspects of policy and planning in the. LSCA has three goals for the 2021 report. First, it provides law students and young lawyers with a resource for deciding on their current and future employment. Second, they hope that it will lead to changes in the Vault 100 companies themselves.