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157 US law school deans issue collective statement on 2020 election, Capitol attack

157 US law school deans issue collective statement on 2020 election, Capitol attack

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Law school deans from 157 law schools across the US issued a collective statement on Tuesday addressing the 2020 election and condemning the attack on the US Capitol on January 6. Because law school deans usually do not collectively speak on issues outside of legal education, this was an unusual occurrence.

The deans who signed the statement on Tuesday represented about two-thirds of US law schools. There are about 235 law schools in the US, 203 of which are ABA-approved. The 157 deans who signed the statement included those of Harvard, CUNY, Stanford and Yale, as well as many other schools throughout the nation.

In the statement, the deans condemned the attack on the Capitol as an “effort to disrupt the certification of a free and fair election” that “was a betrayal of the core values that undergird our Constitution.” They also wrote that, even though many lawyers and judges “worked honestly and in good faith … to ensure the 2020 election was free and fair,” some lawyers challenged the outcome with claims unsupported by facts or evidence. This failure to bring claims in good faith and grounded in facts “betrayed the values” of the legal profession.

In closing, the deans wrote:

As legal educators and lawyers ourselves, we must redouble our efforts to restore faith in the rule of law and the ideals of the legal profession. We have enormous faith in the law’s enduring values and in our students, who will soon lead this profession. We call upon all members of the legal profession to join us in the vital work ahead.

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