May 06, 2007

Law Firm Withdraws Job Offer to AutoAdmit Officer

Amir Efrati at the WSJ.com Law Blog reports that law firm Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge has withdrawn its offer of a post-graduation job to third-year law student Anthony Ciolli as a response to Ciolli's unapologetic involvement with AutoAdmit.com, an online forum for law students.

AutoAdmit gained notoriety when the Washington Post reported that a number of woman law students couldn't find legal work after being named and had photos posted in AutoAdmit, apparently without their consent.

It turned out that the unmoderated discussion boards at AutoAdmit were a cesspit of antisemitism, racism, and sexism and misogyny. When confronted with this fact, neither its founder Jarret Cohen nor Ciolli (the site's "education director") would act in response, citing free speech concerns.

Jill Filipovic of Feministe, a law student herself, was named and harassed on AutoAdmit; and when she protested publicly she became identified by the site's posters as their public enemy, and a regular target for their vitriol.

Filipovic looms so large as a nemesis in the minds of the members of the AutoAdmit community that Ciolli blames the loss of his job offer on her:

My impression from the phone conversation was that this was the chronology:

1) Jill Filipovic from Feministe tells WSJ that I worked at EAP&D

2) WSJ reporter calls EAP&D, and the firm says I had my offer rescinded.

3) WSJ reporter emails me saying theyre going to run a story on it tomorrow.

Believe me, the last thing I wanted was this to be public. I just want to be left alone.

Filipovic denies any involvement with either the Wall Street Journal or Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge. She says flatly that she took no steps to get him fired.

Even Chris Locke acted to take down the Mean Kids and Bob's Yer Uncle sites when the commenters got out of hand. Ciolli's and Cohen's desperate invocations of free speech don't hold any water. There are consequences to willfully giving hate a garden in which to grow. Losing a job at a prestigious law firm is naturally one of them.

True to form, the flying monkeys of AutoAdmit have been flinging their feces anonymously into the comments at the WSJ Law Blog entry with the story.

Anthony Ciolli showed extraordinarily poor judgment in his involvement with AutoAdmit.com, and the loss of his job offer is the well-deserved result of his poor judgment.

(via Lindsay Beyerstein)

Posted by abostick at May 6, 2007 03:26 PM
Comments

There are consequences to willfully giving hate a garden in which to grow.

From your mouth to whoever's ears. To my mind, Jill is a hero in this story, not for directly undermining Ciolli's employment opportunities (I believe her when she says she didn't do that), but for being one of the leaders in exposing his modus operandi.

In my mind,our culture is too damned accepting, even protective, of hate speech; I wish we (and I) were fighting it more directly and more determinedly.

Posted by: Debbie at May 6, 2007 04:37 PM
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