Students from 52 law schools, including Stanford, Yale, Harvard and NYU, are boycotting Seward & Kissel’s recruiting process because of the firm’s role in prosecuting embattled lawyer Steven Donziger for criminal contempt of court.

A letter issued to the Seward firm’s partnership and initially signed by 233 students argues, as has Donziger’s legal team, that Seward has a conflict of interest that should bar it from serving as the government-appointed special prosecutor in Donziger’s high-profile criminal case. Specifically, the students argue that human rights lawyer Donziger helped Indigenous Ecuadorians win an $8.6 billion judgment in Ecuador’s high court against Chevron based on oil damage allegedly strewn across an Indigenous swath of the Amazon jungle; Donziger’s role in securing the judgment has led indirectly, and wrongly, to him now facing up to six months in prison on U.S. contempt-of-court charges; and the 157-lawyer Seward firm has represented Chevron in multiple unrelated matters, making it a conflicted judge-appointed prosecutor that must step down.

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