Paul Weiss chairman praises ‘Muslim ban’ lawyers in memo to firm

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Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison global chairman Brad Karp has praised lawyers working at US airports this weekend against the so-called ‘Muslim ban’ as “in keeping with the finest traditions of the firm”.

In an email to all lawyers and staff on Monday (30 January), Karp thanked more than 50 Paul Weiss lawyers who participated in pop-up airport legal clinics to assist individuals affects by President Donald Trump’s executive order.

He wrote: “Coordinating with lawyers from several non-profits, we have been providing legal assistance to detained individuals (and their families), including Legal Permanent Residents, students and their spouses with valid visas, as well as refugees.”

“Unfortunately, there will be additional opportunities to get involved, and we will continue to keep you apprised as the need arises,” he added.

“I am, as always, very proud to be a Paul Weiss lawyer. Our efforts over the past 72 hours have been in keeping with the finest traditions of our firm.”

Paul Weiss deployed teams of lawyers from its New York and DC offices to JFK and Dulles airports to assist people who were being detained, or threatened that they would be sent back to their home country, in response to the executive order.

Also at the front lines of the protests at US airports against Trump’s ‘extreme vetting’ policy this weekend was Hogan Lovells, which responded to a call for volunteers to help the detainees from a coalition of immigration and refugee assistance organisations, providing more than 20 lawyers on the ground across three states.

Kirkland & Ellis also deployed  around 40 lawyers from its New York office to various airports.

A statement from the firm said Kirkland lawyers provided translation services, counselled dozens of people, and filed several habeas petitions in the federal courts. “We encourage our attorneys at all levels to contribute their professional services to pro bono causes they are passionate about, including immigration-related issues, among a diverse range of issues our lawyers work on throughout the country and world,” the statement read.

Trump signed an executive order on Friday (27 January) banning nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

In the UK, Clarke Willmott has become the first law firm to advise its lawyers and staff not to comply with US border staff should they request access to their social media accounts and phone contacts lists.

The Brad Karp email in full

Dear Members of the Paul Weiss Family, 

I want to fill you in on the heroic efforts of our firm over the past weekend in reaction to Friday’s executive order banning nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.  On Saturday, we deployed teams of Paul, Weiss lawyers from both the New York and DC offices to JFK and Dulles airports to assist people who were being detained, or threatened that they would be sent back to their home country, in response to the executive order.

Coordinating with lawyers from several non-profits, we have been providing legal assistance to detained individuals (and their families), including Legal Permanent Residents, students and their spouses with valid visas, as well as refugees.  That work continues, and we have had teams of lawyers working in shifts around the clock.  We continue to assess the ongoing needs of the individuals affected by the executive order, and have a team at JFK now.  In addition, we are conducting legal research and providing advice to our pro bono partners about the many legal issues raised by the executive order.

I’d like to thank the more than 50 Paul, Weiss lawyers who participated — in particular, Emily Goldberg and BJ Jensen, who have worked tirelessly (and without sleep) to organize and coordinate these efforts both internally and across several non-profit partners, and Bob Atkins, who provided invaluable leadership and guidance.  I’d also like to recognize our Managing Attorney’s Office, whose staff worked throughout the weekend  

Unfortunately, there will be additional opportunities to get involved, and we will continue to keep you apprised as the need arises.

I am, as always, very proud to be a Paul, Weiss lawyer.  Our efforts over the past 72 hours have been in keeping with the finest traditions of our firm.

Brad

The post Paul Weiss chairman praises ‘Muslim ban’ lawyers in memo to firm appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law.



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