The Wall Street Journal reports: Judge Revives Discrimination Claim Against Covington
BigLaw attorneys are an increasingly stratified group, as many corporate law firms have a growing number of employment tiers, placing some of their associates on a partnership track and designating other lawyers as staff attorneys.
Could this sort of differentiation possibly be illegal?
From Above The Law: Yolanda Young Is Once Again in Covington’s Face
Good old disparate-impact — long may she reign. The analysis takes us out of the realm of what is in people’s hearts and minds, and puts us squarely in the realm of outcomes that can be illustrated with statistics and other evidence.
Yolanda Young has practically become a household name in the Am Law world after writing a column for The Huffington Post in 2008accusing Covington of placing black lawyers into a “staff attorney ghetto” and later suing the firm, according to our prior reporting. Young’s central claim concerns the firm’s alleged practice of placing a disproportionate number of black lawyers in relatively low-paying (and certainly unglamorous) staff attorney positions and then deliberately failing to promote staff attorneys to associate status, according to the NLJ and our prior reporting.
Citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s May decision in a race bias case brought by black firefighters against the city of Chicago, a federal judge has said he will revisit claims by a former Covington & Burling LLP staff attorney who alleges she was denied a promotion because of race bias.
A federal judge in Washington has given new life to one of the allegations in former Covington & Burling staff attorney Yolanda Young’s racial discrimination suit against the firm. In an opinion handed down today, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted part of Young’s motion to reconsider a previous order that dismissed several of Young’s allegations.
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