How to Lose Your Job by Supporting Palestine [UNLOCKED]

This episode was available early to Premium members. If you'd like that kind of perk, consider joining at Ryna Workman and Jinan Chehade were both knocked off the Big Law course they thought they were on, after expressing solidarity with Palestine. Now they're on a mission to make some good trouble.

A podcast where we dissect and analyze the Supreme Court cases that have rescinded our civil rights, like a law firm rescinding a Palestinian activist's job offer

0:00:00.0 Speaker 1: That is a lucid, intelligent, well-thought-out objection.

0:00:04.9 Speaker 2: Thank you, Your Honor.

0:00:07.3 Speaker 1: Overruled.

0:00:10.6 Leon: Hey, everyone. This is Leon from Fiasco and Prologue Projects. On this episode of 5-4, Peter, Rhiannon, and Michael are talking to Ryna Workman and Jinan Chehade. Ryna is a third-year law student at NYU Law, and Jinan is a recent graduate of Georgetown Law. Both thought they had their first law jobs all lined up. But when their messages of support for the cause of Palestinian liberation made them targets on social media, their firms dropped them. This is a conversation about what speech is really free and what corporate law firms are actually looking for when they say they want diverse teams. This is 5-4, a podcast about how much the Supreme Court and big law suck.

0:00:56.5 Peter: Welcome to 5-4, where we dissect and analyze the Supreme Court cases that have rescinded our civil rights like a law firm rescinding a Palestinian activist's job offer.

0:01:07.2 Rhiannon: Wow.

0:01:08.1 Peter: I'm Peter. I'm here with Rhiannon.

0:01:09.6 Rhiannon: Hey.

0:01:10.8 Peter: And Michael.

0:01:12.4 Michael: Hi, everybody.

0:01:13.3 Peter: Keeping it topical today.

0:01:14.1 Michael: That's right.

0:01:15.0 Rhiannon: Yeah, special episode.

0:01:20.1 Peter: Yeah, we are conducting an interview with a couple of folks, Ryna Workman and Jinan Chehade, who had a somewhat similar experience, both of them going into big law jobs and having those offers, those jobs taken away from them for what they said. We thought it would be sort of interesting to talk to them about their experience, maybe talk about what like, I don't know, big law diversity efforts actually mean given stuff like this. Right.

0:01:47.8 Rhiannon: Yeah, it's such a crazy time right now with the debate on free speech, whether it's on campus, in the workplace on social media. What we are seeing is really unprecedented repression of pro-Palestine expression, right, expression of Palestinian solidarity. And these two, Ryna and Jinan, have suffered some of the most serious consequences. Jinan, the day before she was supposed to start work at a big law firm, Foley & Gardner, she was fired. Ryna is a third year law student. Ryna worked at the big law firm, Winston & Strawn, both of their summers for law school. Winston & Strawn extended them an offer for working after law school. And within a few hours of Ryna sending out an email in their capacity as SBA president at NYU Law, within a few hours, Winston & Strawn had rescinded that offer.

0:02:44.2 Peter: Now, before we get going, I do think it'd be useful to tell you folks what they actually got into trouble for, ostensibly, because we do touch on some of this in the conversation, but not right up front. So I think it will help color everyone's understanding of it. So Ryna was the Student Bar Association president at NYU Law, sent out an email, part of which said, and this is shortly after the 10-7 attacks, that Israel bears full responsibility for the violence. They point out that they were referring to violence generally, like the violence in the region, not something specific to the attacks, but I think that's how it was interpreted. And I think that's really the heart of what was objected to by their future employer. Jinan had, I think, a more complicated situation. Rhiannon, I'll let you explain that.

0:03:31.1 Rhiannon: Yeah, Ryna's firm came down on them for the email that they sent out. And then Jinan's firm interrogated and then fired her based on a patchwork, really, of actions and expressions that Jinan had done that the firm apparently found objectionable. So first, the firm interrogated her about participation in local chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine. They also brought up public comments that Jinan had made at a Chicago City Council meeting in October in which she spoke out against a proposed resolution that only condemned Hamas without making mention of Palestinians at all or decades of occupation. And then the firm also interrogated Jinan based on her background, like literally about her being Palestinian, about her being Muslim and about her family being immigrants.

0:04:25.3 Peter: Yeah. And I think we wanted to speak with these folks for a couple of reasons. One, I think it's just sort of a continuation of a discussion we've had over the course of a few episodes about free speech and what it means and for whom free speech principles tend to apply in this country. The other is I think there's something to be said here about the ideals ostensibly espoused by big law firms in particular, by the legal establishment more broadly. A while back did a episode about Nestle V. Doe, right, where the legal question was related to the use by Nestle of child slaves in the Ivory Coast. And a lot of lawyers kind of jumped to the defense of Neal Katyal, who argued that case for Nestle, basically saying, look, like, we're all lawyers, right? We're just sort of like neutral arbiters of the law.

0:05:28.5 Michael: We just make arguments on our client's behalf. Yeah. That doesn't mean I support child slavery or murder or whatever.

0:05:35.0 Peter: These institutions have always argued that they don't really have an ideology, right? We're just lawyers.

0:05:40.1 Rhiannon: Yes.

0:05:42.1 Peter: But I think situations like this reveal that they do have an ideology. And if you apply pressure to these institutions, they will reveal their ideology. They will fight in defense of their ideology. They will squash dissent from their ideology. They have beliefs and they fight for a reactionary agenda.

0:06:01.7 Rhiannon: Yeah. And both Ryna's situation and Jinan's situation, what was pulled out of their statements, what was found objectionable and decontextualized really shows the bad faith response, the racist response that these corporations are taking to these kinds of expressions of solidarity.

0:06:19.7 Michael: Yeah. Yeah. And just to be clear on something, there's nothing wrong with having an ideology. There's nothing wrong with a law firm being ideological. It's just that these law firms' ideologies suck.

0:06:33.6 Rhiannon: Well, and that you're laundering it.

0:06:35.9 Michael: Yeah. And they lie about it.

0:06:37.1 Peter: One of the things that's, like, shoved down your throat in law school is, like, learn to sort of, like, look past something that might bother you and focus on the argument, right?

0:06:45.7 Rhiannon: Right.

0:06:49.2 Peter: And of course, that is a framework that is preserved for certain types of discourse that serve majority interests in this country.

0:07:00.7 Michael: Right. White professors who like to say the N-word. Right.

0:07:01.1 Peter: When it's someone advocating for Palestinians, all of a sudden they've crossed the line. That sort of argument is objectionable to the powers that be in modern legal institutions.

0:07:11.2 Michael: Yeah, that's right. And I just wanted to add this sort of crackdown on speech as being done in the name of, at least in part, American Jews, diaspora Jews, and their safety. So as you listen to these two, like, inspiring, wonderful activists speak, I think it's worth asking yourself whether silencing them would make you feel safer. It doesn't make me feel safer as someone on whose behalf this is ostensibly being done.

0:07:42.0 Rhiannon: Right. Right. And whose safety, right, is really at risk. Okay. Very pleased to welcome on to 5-4, Jinan Chehade. Jinan is a recent graduate of Georgetown Law, just graduated this year, and has a lot to tell us about the law firm that she did have a job, was about to start. Welcome to Five to Four, Jinan.

0:08:08.5 Jinan Chehade: Thank you so much. Thank you for having me.

0:08:13.0 Rhiannon: And Ryna Workman.

0:08:15.3 Ryna Workman: Hi, nice to meet you guys.

0:08:19.5 Rhiannon: Ryna is a 3L right now at the law school at NYU. Ryna also has a lot to tell us about a job offer at a big law firm that was taken away from them. Thanks for being here.

0:08:30.3 Ryna Workman: Glad to be here.

0:08:32.5 Michael: Good to have you.

0:08:35.2 Rhiannon: So, thank you both so much for being here, for everything that you've said. I am so proud to have seen both of you in interviews since this happened to you. So let's just jump into it. Maybe, Jinan, do you wanna start us off? Just talk about why Jinan Chehade has been in the news. What happened?

0:08:52.9 Jinan Chehade: That's a great way to put it. Hello, everyone, again. My name is Jinan Chehade. I am a recent graduate of Georgetown Law. I was offered a job at Foley & Lardner and my employment was terminated the day before I was set to start, actually. So what happened was, just to give you a brief background, Foley & Lardner is a multi-national law firm. It has offices all around the United States, thousands of attorneys. I worked for them like last summer for about three months and then was rehired as a full-time associate upon graduation. I signed all the paperwork. I kind of got an apartment right next to the law firm and just relied on this job and prepared myself for the job, basically. So the day before I was set to start, I was called into a meeting with the head partners at Foley & Lardner. And at this meeting, the managing partners of the firm literally interrogated me in a hostile manner about my social media posts related to Palestine, about my advocacy with students for justice in Palestine and just about my background identity as well.

0:09:54.1 Jinan Chehade: They actually had with them, and this is something that I found very interesting. They had with them, right when we sat down at the meeting, each of the head partners had with them a packet of about 15 to 20 pages that had screenshots of my social media posts related to Palestinian rights, screenshots of my involvement in organizations like SJP Chicago, LSJP, which is Law Students for Justice in Palestine, and just information about like almost every speech I've made, every comment I've made about Palestine, my background and identity in general. They then asked me a series of hostile questions about my support for Palestinian rights. Again, my involvement SJP, which is a student organization with branches all around the country that has a history of nonviolent civil discourse. But they framed that my support for students for justice in Palestine as supporting terrorism.

0:10:45.0 Jinan Chehade: Again, framing SJP as supporting terrorism is an absolutely insane accusation because there's hundreds of SJPs around the country. They then went on to ask me a series of questions even about my family and my background, specifically asking about my dad and where he works and his position and his involvement in the community. They then asked me whether I condemn Hamas in the October 7th attacks. So they basically like all of these questions in this culmination of hours of interrogation, they framed my advocacy for Palestine as supporting terrorism. Literally, like I went into the meeting when they called me initially. I was like, you know what, I'm gonna go with like good vibes and really just explain myself 'cause I didn't do anything wrong. And I went to this law firm because it prides itself on inclusivity and diversity. And right when I walked into the meeting, unfortunately, I knew that it was not that type of environment. And I was kind of interrogated from the start.

0:11:40.3 Jinan Chehade: And I went on and I was explaining to them how my family is affected in the region and how like I worry for the lives of my family, for the lives of my friends. And I was like, I think it was at that point, 10,000 or 12,000 Palestinians have died. And I looked and then I said like half of those are children. And literally right after I went in and I was telling them the history of this like very violent time that Palestinians are going through. They asked me, okay, like, that's great. But do you condemn Hamas?

0:12:02.8 Rhiannon: Oh, my God.

0:12:05.2 Michael: Unbelievable. Listening to you start, I was going to jokingly ask if they asked you to condemn Hamas, and you were like, they asked me to condemn Hamas.

0:12:12.3 Jinan Chehade: I was like, wait, is this CNN or like, where am I right now kind of moment?

0:12:16.2 Rhiannon: And so at the end of that conversation, so they interrogate you, Jinan, about all of this stuff, which you have said in your personal capacity as a student, as a member of a separate student organization, not part of Foley, not part of your job as an associate or anything like that. So at the end of all of that interrogation, they're just like, okay, and also you're fired now.

0:12:39.1 Jinan Chehade: So at the end of that interrogation, they're like, okay, we're gonna meet with leadership. I'm not sure what that like really meant. And we'll get back to you with a final decision. And this is kind of when I knew that they came into the meeting with already a decision about my employment and they knew that they were gonna terminate me. They were just like trying to get I think I don't know if it was information or anything. And then that's when I really kind of pushed back and said, is it the firm's position to censor upcoming associates or to not support diversity in geopolitical affairs? And to this they said that we don't censor associates unless they're supporting terrorism or inciting violence.

0:13:15.1 Peter: It's like a national security issue that they were dealing with.

0:13:20.9 Jinan Chehade: Yeah, basically.

0:13:21.8 Rhiannon: Right. Thanks, Foley. Yeah.

0:13:24.3 Jinan Chehade: And again, just to point out, I am literally one of two visibly Muslim Arab woman associates in the law firm nationwide. And this is thousands upon thousands of attorneys. So for them to view like my Palestine advocacy as terrorism is like a racist smear with no factual backing, as we know, 'cause supporting Palestinian rights is about like equality and liberation. And so I was like, okay, fine. I left the meeting, cried for a bit just because of how helpless and small I felt. But I moved on from that. And I got a call later that night that my employment was terminated.

0:13:54.8 Peter: So now it's one visibly Muslim person at Foley and Lardner.

0:14:00.2 Jinan Chehade: Basically yeah.

0:14:03.5 Peter: I don't know who that is, but watch your back.

0:14:06.8 Speaker 1: Right. Right.

0:14:07.1 Peter: Stay frosty over there at Foley.

0:14:09.0 Rhiannon: Peter has some experience getting fired.

0:14:12.8 Peter: I do be getting fired.

0:14:13.0 Michael: Getting grilled and fired.

0:14:14.9 Rhiannon: Yeah getting interrogated and then fired. I think Peter can relate in some aspects.

0:14:19.8 Peter: I mean, I remember the meeting you know?

0:14:27.5 Rhiannon: Right.

0:14:30.2 Peter: It's true. The vibes of the meeting are very identifiable, very quickly. And you're like, oh, this is this is the end.

0:14:33.6 Rhiannon: Ryna, so your position slightly different, right, because you're a current student. But you had that offer from Winston and Strawn. Yes. Another big law firm. You had the offer for employment as a first year associate after graduating. Tell us what happened to you. What did Winston and Strawn do?

0:14:50.2 Ryna Workman: Yeah. So my story is a lot shorter, unfortunately, for me, because basically I sent a message to law students at around noon on a Tuesday. And by 5:00 PM On that same Tuesday, my offer from Winston and Strawn had been revoked. I like the language of like the offer, but I think it's important to note that like it wasn't just an offer. It was an offer that I had already accepted.

0:15:15.5 Jinan Chehade: Exactly.

0:15:19.7 Ryna Workman: And that they had like turned over. Like it was something that was already supposedly a done deal. So within five hours of me sending that message, my offer was revoked. And I think it's important to note that small time frame because I didn't send this message publicly. I actually sent it in my capacity as Student Bar Association president, which only goes to current law students. So in that five hours, not only did it get leaked to the media, I also received emails that I was cc'd on that people were sending to my employer at Winston and Strawn. Like the hiring people, to the recruiting people, just basically like begging them to fire me.

0:15:55.6 Michael: Yeah.

0:15:56.4 Rhiannon: And then they did.

0:15:58.2 Ryna Workman: And then they did. So it's like it wasn't as though Winston and Strawn was like making this kind of separate decision. It was like clearly a decision influenced by a like concerted harassment campaign, which I have found has been happening both at the university as well, where like the university is making policies to fit the various like campaigns that certain folks will drive. Instead of just making decisions that actually make sense or have you've taken the time to like get all the facts about whatever situation.

0:16:30.6 Rhiannon: Did they send you an email? Did they call you Winston and Strawn? Like how did you find out?

0:16:35.4 Ryna Workman: I actually found out because someone sent me Winston and Strawn's tweet about removing my offer.

0:16:44.2 Rhiannon: Oh, my God.

0:16:45.5 Ryna Workman: They did send me an email before they tweeted about it. But because on October 10th, I received probably anywhere from between like 100 to 200 spam, not even spam emails, like emails to my inbox that were just like terrible. I didn't see their email until after I saw it on Twitter. So I went back and like searched it to find it. So I found out when everyone else did.

0:17:10.7 Rhiannon: I have a question. Jinan touched on this already, that like in this conversation with the partners, it is obvious that aspects of your identity are highly relevant to their decision. And I was I'm just wondering if you think there are both of you, people of color, women or non-binary people here. What do you both think about the decisions made by these law firms with respect to your employment, that they took into account other aspects of your identity beyond just your expression of pro-Palestine solidarity? Do you think that other aspects of your identity played a role in their decisions?

0:17:52.4 Ryna Workman: I mean, I'm not sure. One thing I will say is I was talking about this with someone else that like the way it was framed in those first few days, like in headlines, was always non-binary student Ryna Workman says X, Y and Z. And I always thought that was really interesting because that's not even something that I advertise like that. Like I only recently came out to my family and not even to my extended family. So it's definitely never something that I would have asked to be in a headline. And it's not like the firm didn't know that I was non-binary and they know I'm black. So I'm not really sure. I think it definitely is an issue of who's disposable, if not like explicitly because I just don't I'm not sure that if I had had other identities, whether I would have been fired without even getting contacted like or even asked about it. Right. Like it was just, oh, nope, they can go. We don't even have to talk to them about it. We can just get rid of them. And so I definitely think that's something.

0:18:49.0 Peter: There's sort of like a presumption, it feels like in these like HR circles that when you see, for example, a radical statement from a black person. It registers in their brain as familiar. This sort of like radicalism that makes them inherently uncomfortable.

0:19:05.8 Ryna Workman: Yep, yep.

0:19:05.9 Rhiannon: Jinan, I know you've talked about them like saying you're a visibly Muslim woman, you are hijabi, like that was, it sounds like actually a part of the conversation, the interrogation that you had.

0:19:18.1 Jinan Chehade: Yeah, I think mine was much more clear in that it was very specifically for my background and identity. Even the line of questioning going from like, again, your posts than to your involvement, SJP, then to whether you condemn Hamas, then to like, where's your family from? Like where does your dad work? All these questions are like very tied to my identity and who I am. And even like, when it comes to, I think this is all framed as like my political opinion when it comes to Palestine, but like, make no mistake, like this was specifically for my background because speaking out for Palestine is not just a political opinion for me. It's something that's deeply embedded in my identity as someone who has family in the region. Ryna pointed out like a very good point about when it comes to like minority groups, it's more guilty before proven innocent.

0:20:01.6 Jinan Chehade: I'm not sure if I made the same posts on social media, which again, we're just about Palestinian rights upholding international law. Like the way these firms frame it make it seem like so radical when like, it wasn't even that radical, but yeah, I think it's like guilty before proven innocent. It was like, oh, you said these statements, you are a visibly Muslim hijab woman. Automatically, like what registers in their mind is terrorism. And it takes us back again to a post 9/11 era of like authorization of Arab and Muslim communities. And even for me, I've been doing a lot of research these past couple of weeks about like the Black Panther party, I know there was kind of a piece called Creating the Enemy in which the FBI in order to frame the Black Panther party, which was an organizing unit they used like rhetoric and media by politicians to frame the Black Panthers as like a threat. Like a terrorism threat. So like this same language of like authorization and war rhetoric that is being used against people who speak up for Palestinian rights is like straight out of the playbook and even the McCarthyism era. So this is nothing new.

0:21:03.6 Michael: Yeah. And it's hard to quantifiably say this, but I suspect as someone with a sort of Jewish sounding last name and a Semitic Jewish presenting face, I could get away with the statements both of you made without losing a job offer at a big firm. Yeah. There's something to I think the sort of dominant American culture that sees black people and Muslims as inherently threatening so that anything that's even approaching the line is assumed to be threatening.

0:21:40.1 Rhiannon: Exactly. Yeah.

0:21:42.2 Michael: Whereas I am not threatening and therefore I have leeway to express different viewpoints without an assumption of threat.

0:21:53.3 Rhiannon: Yeah. Well and all of us have seen, whether you're a lawyer practicing at a big law firm or a law student or anywhere across society, all of us have seen people in our lives on their personal social media or in their personal capacities, express viewpoints in support of Israel.

0:22:12.0 Jinan Chehade: Exactly.

0:22:13.0 Speaker 1: In support of Israeli military violence.

0:22:13.4 Michael: Oh for sure.

0:22:17.3 Jinan Chehade: Yeah.

0:22:18.3 Rhiannon: Calling for mass violence. Supportive of mass violence, supportive of wartime atrocities.

0:22:22.9 Michael: Collective punishment.

0:22:24.0 Rhiannon: Collective punishment, all of it, right? But because that's state violence. Yep. That's totally fine. They don't suffer these consequences that you two have suffered. Right?

0:22:34.4 Michael: Absolutely.

0:22:35.2 Jinan Chehade: On that point, like there, I know of like multiple people at Foley and specifically like high up attorneys at Foley who have literally encouraged violence, like partners at the firm who have encouraged Israeli violence and those who have stood with Israel and none of these individuals were called into a meeting or interrogated or fired. Right. So when you think about like, kind of again, just like how the standard is not applied uniformly, it takes us back to yes, this is tied to political opinion, but more our identity. Like how disposable we are of like Honestly, I think that when they terminated my employment, they did not expect all of this. They kind of just expected me to go quietly and I think this really caught them off guard, but this is kind of the point, right? And that's why we're here today of like, they can't just pick at us one by one. Like we will stand by each other and this is not a normal thing. Like we, I guess we're gonna fight back to make sure that this doesn't happen to anybody else.

0:23:30.1 Ryna Workman: Yeah.

0:23:31.8 Peter: Jinan, can I drill down on the meeting? Because the fact that they asked about like, your heritage in very direct ways. I wasn't an employment lawyer and this just, it just feels so obviously illegal that I have to ask more questions about it.

0:23:43.7 Michael: Peter's like, did they look at what is illegal and be like, we're gonna do that. We're gonna break the law today. Gonna get our asses sued.

0:23:51.4 Peter: Hot legal tip when you're about to fire someone, don't start talking about their like, demographic qualities in the meeting. So they asked about like where your father works was there like an ostensible purpose there? What were like, could you tell what they were getting at in their own minds?

0:24:11.6 Jinan Chehade: I honestly like could not tell you like I came into that meeting and unfortunately I was very caught off guard and that I did have my guard down and I was like, these are people that I worked with like for three months that I have a personal relationship with. I'm gonna explain myself. I'm gonna explain like what's going on in Palestine. Literally I came in, I was like, I'm gonna use this as an educational moment and like talk about what's going on in Palestine.

0:24:31.9 Rhiannon: Palestine teaching. Yeah.

0:24:36.5 Jinan Chehade: Palestine 101, let's go. And unfortunately it was not like that. Also, I was truly caught off guard and I was answering their questions as they were coming and I don't know how it got to that degree where they're asking about my father. And I think that was very alarming to me. And that's when something went off in my brain of like, this is not good because I have family that's undocumented. And so that was like very like, again, alarm bells started going off in my head. I honestly couldn't tell you the questions range from like about my father to, for me, I'm the founder of SJP Chicago, LSJP at Georgetown Law, president of SJP DePaul. They kept on listing all these things and saying like, these are organizations that have like supported terrorism. Like what do you say about that? What do you say about SJP Chicago's recent post again, just like question after question about things that don't really even concern me. They even asked why I didn't include SJP Chicago on my resume and like SJP DePaul.

0:25:28.6 Ryna Workman: I wonder why.

0:25:30.7 Jinan Chehade: Like what.

0:25:30.8 Peter: Had we known that you were affiliated with Palestinian organizations?

0:25:31.9 Rhiannon: Literally.

0:25:36.2 Jinan Chehade: Exactly. So I wish I had a clear answer for you, but at that moment I was like severely caught off guard. And I wish I cited that. I don't wanna answer that question and not answer their question.

0:25:46.7 Peter: That would not have worked for the record. In terms of keeping your job just FYI but.

0:25:51.7 Rhiannon: I want to talk about bigger picture stuff with both of you. But before we get to that, Ryna, you touched on hundreds of emails within hours hitting your inbox. I did wanna just touch briefly on like, this is not just that both of you lost jobs but there are consequences beyond that kind of material that, that big thing, doxing harassment, that kind of thing. Ryna, do you just wanna talk about what that has been like for you? You are currently a law student. You are currently taking finals right now. What has that felt like on campus, in class, in your life?

0:26:29.0 Ryna Workman: So I definitely think the three weeks after I sent my message on the 10th of October, it was like ridiculous. Like to my email, like to my school email, which is important I think, right? That it wasn't just like my personal email that I could kind of filter out. This was the email that I was using for school, and I was receiving like, I think by the total of it, it was like 200, 300 emails and those were the ones that got sent to my email account. They were all so like spamming our like SBA email account to get to me.

0:27:00.5 Rhiannon: SBA is Student Bar Association, that's like the student governing body at law schools.

0:27:09.0 Ryna Workman: Yeah. So that was really alarming and it definitely made things difficult. I remember I was like talking to administration, a lot of my issues, the more aggressive issues I've had have been with NYU as an institution. But I was trying to like figure out how I could get that changed and then they were really slow moving by the time I even got any confirmation about whether my email could be changed or would be allowed to be changed by that point. It was like the first or second week of November and the emails had kind of tapered off. And so I was like, thanks for nothing. And then I think like also, like I was president of the Student Bar Association and then I was told that I could no longer hold that position by an administrator even though I was elected by students.

0:27:49.5 Ryna Workman: And then to kind of, in my opinion cover their tracks, they made sure to facilitate a no confidence vote that the students petitioned for in very suspect ways. And then I was voted out officially in November. I was supposed to take the MPRE, which is like this professional responsibility exam. 'cause I'm in professional responsibility right now. And because of everything going on, I couldn't study. I couldn't do anything. And so I just canceled my MPRE exam. So it's just, it's had a lot of effects in ways that I didn't realize it would. And I think it's because it's like a constant fight with other students on this campus who engage in this kind of like harassment campaigning where it's not just like they tell, like them and two of their friends like, go bother this person on social media. It's like they amass like hundreds of people.

0:28:41.1 Jinan Chehade: Exactly.

0:28:44.6 Ryna Workman: To comment on your posts or to send DMs to your Instagram account because that was a whole other thing. Like, I went on private before I was ready to come public, and then as soon as I came off private, it was like, we're ready for you. And it continues to happen. Like just yesterday I was in an exam for four hours. I got out of my exam and I opened Instagram and I had like 10 DMs and I was like, where did these come from? And then I found out through Google alerts that someone had tweeted my Al Jazeera interview and said that I was pledging my allegiance to Hamas. And so then I got a bunch of DMs just hateful stuff.

0:29:19.4 Peter: Do you regret pledging your allegiance to Hamas on Air?

0:29:21.3 Ryna Workman: Listen.

0:29:24.3 Michael: I just wanna say I haven't cleared either of these statements with Peter and Rhiannon, but I believe the position of the podcast is that ACAB includes everyone who snitched on Ryna.

0:29:38.3 Rhiannon: Hell yeah.

0:29:39.4 Ryna Workman: That's right.

0:29:39.8 Michael: Yes. Also that snitches get stitches.

0:29:39.9 Peter: It's true. Ryna, I have a question for you.

0:29:49.3 Ryna Workman: Yeah.

0:29:49.9 Peter: Has NYU offered even in like a sort of backhanded way, any sort of support for the harassment that you've received? Has there been any sort of like, hey, we have resources or anything along those lines?

0:30:06.5 Ryna Workman: Yeah, so two things. I think it's interesting because the law school and NYU, there's supposed to be one entity, but they're really kind of two separate entities, at least in the way that my issues have been addressed. So the law school, I would argue actually enabled harassment against me by putting out two different statements. The same week I send out my email basically saying this person condones terrorism, but we don't and we don't believe in the killing of civilians. And anyone who does, doesn't reflect our values. So that was like a whole separate issue. And then they didn't follow up a message at all, like, oh, actually don't dox and harass our law student. Especially because they have multiple marginalized identities that are being used against them, none of that. Whereas the university stepped in, I talked to campus safety, they wanted me to talk to NYPD and I was like, I'm not doing that. Yeah. And then they like kept trying to push wellness. Eventually I did wind up going to wellness because it was bad, but like as far as the law school doing anything, absolutely not.

0:31:02.8 Rhiannon: And wellness is like mental health support on campus? Or is that what that is?

0:31:07.7 Ryna Workman: Yeah, so I think like the university I would say maybe did more did something I guess. But it's like I am an NYU student, but I'm NYU law student and the law school has other means to do different things. And instead of doing those, they chose to like put out statements against me, prevent me from doing my student elected position, not offering me any material support in terms of like getting a new job or even contacting my firm. I mean, I don't know, I'm not a university law school admin, but I would think it's a pretty bad look for one of your students to get their job offer revoked for sharing an opinion or expressing solidarity. Because how do you tell incoming students that they have job prospects. When at any point they can have their job offer revoked just for sending an email.

0:31:54.3 Peter: I want to back up really quick. You said they put out a statement, it sounds like their statement implied that you support violence against civilians and terrorism.

0:32:05.8 Ryna Workman: Yes.

0:32:06.3 Peter: The law school you're currently at did that while you were a student there. I want to be explicit.

0:32:11.2 Michael: And maybe we should sort of like drill down so it doesn't look like we're dancing around something. But the statement that you put out just said that Israel bears full responsibility for the attacks, right?

0:32:25.6 Ryna Workman: And actually not even the attacks, it says Israel bears full responsibility for this tremendous amount of violence.

0:32:29.0 Peter: Is that why in every article I read the quote cuts off after Israel bears full responsibility.

0:32:33.3 Rhiannon: God!

0:32:34.6 Michael: Of course, of course.

0:32:38.2 Ryna Workman: That's also the first, like, that's like the second sentence of the message. And in the first paragraph, there's two paragraphs here. Then the second one in my opinion was the one that was like the meat of the message, the most important part. Which condemned the violence of military occupation, of apartheid, of using white phosphorus bombs calling people human animals. And so when I talk about tremendous violence, I was actually commenting on the fact that Israel has engaged in this siege for over two decades. That they've been occupying Palestinian land for 75 years. But obviously if you take it out of context, you get the picture that I do whatever with terrorism.

0:33:16.4 Michael: I will note, even though it is not what you said, that Israel and especially the right wing government of Israel bearing responsibility for the October 7th attacks is a, I wouldn't say non-controversial, but at least widely held opinion. Right. Acceptable in the discourse in Israeli society. You can find headlines in Heretz and the Jerusalem post arguing that. Op-eds laying out the case.

0:33:51.6 Ryna Workman: Yeah. That's what I quoted in my press release the week after. I was like, it's actually ridiculous. I think that just goes to our point, a point about like identity. Like, if I was a white Israeli saying what I said, everyone would be like. "Wow. What a critique. Like a great opinion. I'm so glad you're using your critical thinking skills to really condemn this right wing government." But it's like, oh, if I'm a black person expressing solidarity with another group of oppressed people, that's too radical for us. And actually, we're gonna say a bunch of things that you didn't say in order to make it seem like so, which is why I have another issue with like, my firm just revoking my offer without even asking me about it because it's like, I don't know what you saw in the media. Did you actually read my message? Because I can't believe that if you actually read the email that I sent you would come to the conclusion that they came to and what they cited in their post about like, oh, this conflicts with our values. And I'm like, what conflicts with your values condemning military apartheid? Like that just doesn't, it's not, it's not adding up to me.

0:34:50.2 Rhiannon: Make it make sense. Make it make sense. Please.

0:34:51.1 Peter: If you support Palestinian rights in this country, and this is like basically what it's always been, at least as long as I've been an adult since the second intifada, and I assume before then, but I was a child but every inference gets made against you in these cases, right?

0:35:06.7 Rhiannon: Every bad faith leap.

0:35:09.3 Peter: You're given absolutely no grace to say something. And when you make a statement, they will basically round to the nearest support for terrorism, like any statement that could be even conceivably read in a bad faith way. This is why like from the river to the sea gets read as a call to genocide. Not just that, but like in the discourse now people will be like, well, this is unequivocally a call for genocide. Yeah. Or something like that. Right. They will take a, a statement that has no clear connection to terrorism, to violence against civilians. And just sort of like, move it there steadily and it's on you to sort of explain how it's not right. To explain why you are innocent, despite the fact that you haven't said anything that you're being accused of.

0:36:00.2 Rhiannon: And meanwhile, it's so frustrating to have this burden put on you all of the time to explain, explain, explain, explain. Because meanwhile the bombs are dropping, white phosphorus is dropping, children are lost under the rubble forever. Mass violence is happening right now. That is what we're trying to talk about. These consequences. Major life-changing material consequences are falling on you and losing your jobs. The doxing, the harassment. And on top of it that you are constantly having to explain your statement. To prove somehow to everybody that you are nonviolent, that you are safe, that you will not make them uncomfortable.

0:36:35.5 Peter: And I wanna point out that even the institutions that are partaking in this aren't safe from it. Like, look at the university presidents getting dragged before Congress. And giving what is, was basically a cut and dry explanation of their policies and, getting absolutely annihilated by the mainstream media nonstop coverage from like the New York Times, at least one resignation so far. Who knows if it'll just be one by the time this airs. There's an irony there that a lot of these institutions have sort of participated in this sort of witch hunt culture surrounding Palestinian activism and are now the victims of it because the entire apparatus is designed to operate in bad faith.

0:37:23.7 Ryna Workman: Yeah, I remember when this all started, when Winston, my firm fired me so quickly, the comments then immediately shifted to Dean McKenzie the dean of NYU law school to be like, look, their firm or not, they would never use my correct pronouns. Her firm fired her. So what are you doing? Like you need to expel her. This is weak. Like he's putting out statements that expressly condemn my opinion, enabling further harassment, da da, da da. But that, that's not enough. They're still coming after him and coming after the board of trustees and even just the general student body of this law school, like for example, when the vote came out, the vote was like 60-40 against me, and people were still like, I can't believe 400 students approve of Ryna workman's message. And it's like, this is never enough for these people.

0:38:07.9 Rhiannon: It's never enough.

0:38:09.7 Ryna Workman: You need to stop, stop catering to them and giving into them. And instead support your like, marginalized students and stop worrying about what this like violent group of people want because they, it's never gonna be enough.

0:38:21.5 Rhiannon: So, sick. That's a really good point. Jinan, maybe we'll start with you. I kind of wanna talk about maybe lessons that both of you have drawn from this advice that you would give to other people who wanna speak out, but maybe fear, similar consequences. How has this changed your idea, if at all, about practicing law or your career goals? Practicing in this space. You go to law school for three years, you graduate, you study for the bar, you pass. Congratulations.

0:38:49.2 Jinan Chehade: Thank you.

0:38:50.5 Ryna Workman: You are a licensed attorney. You train for this, you train to have this job. You work a summer there at a big law firm. This is a prestigious position. And then this happens. Has that just changed your career goals, changed your ideas about what you wanted to do in the law? How you wanted to participate in this profession?

0:39:11.4 Jinan Chehade: Yeah. A hundred percent. I think it did. And just to give you like, background about why I went to law school, like I know it's like the same story that all minorities face about, like, when you ask why we went to law school, like I'm a first generation Muslim woman with like physical disabilities. I faced like the brute force and seen the brute force of the immigration system, the criminal justice system, our healthcare system from literally, I remember I was in the hospital for like six months and my roommate who had like stage four cancer was sent home because her health insurance like stopped. So from a very young age, I always knew that I wanted to create like, some kind of change of using the law, which is weaponized against us a lot as a, like a tool towards change. As like lame as that sounds.

0:39:51.7 Peter: Not at all.

0:39:52.4 Jinan Chehade: But unfortunately, I'm also a first generation woman. So like I, my family also depended on me for to be like the breadwinner at a certain point to provide for my family. So I decided to go the big law route and kind of get that resources and training and just stabilize me and myself and my family. But through all of this, and I think it's not only this experience, but truly these past two months, I think we've all witnessed kind of an awakening of like what it really is. The point of all of this, like, yes, you know, money is important, all this stuff and financial security is important, but at what cost? Like how far am I willing to sell myself and my views and like my values to be at these positions? So when you ask like, how's this experience changed my career path and where I wanna go these past few two months like, I mean it when I say I'm a different person than I was two months ago.

0:40:44.3 Jinan Chehade: Like, we are more unapologetic. We are more like bold and courageous and brave because like I, we have nothing to lose. Like this is something that, like me and my family, my friends talk about a lot of like we wanna climb the ladder in the US and like have a good career and like change it from the inside. And yeah, maybe that's important. Like where has that brought us? Like we've been doing that for decades. And like we are truly at the worst point we've ever been. I have friends that have lost 40 members of their family. And this is not a unique story, like in Chicago, almost every Palestinian family has someone that they've lost or that's been impacted, like my family in Lebanon right now, the area is taking in refugees from South Lebanon of people that have been impacted.

0:41:27.8 Jinan Chehade: So when we talk about, like, again, career changes, honestly, I'm trying to see like where I could take my career in a point that's true to who I am and my values. And that's unapologetic in the future because yes, we are focused right now on this bombardment of Gaza. But make no mistake, as long as like's Israel's occupation of Gaza and of Palestine exists, there will be another siege on Gaza. And it will probably be worse. And it, the cycle will continue. For the past two decades on Gaza there's been over 15 sieges and bombardments, like a person that's my age in Gaza right now has probably seen about, I wanna say like 10 sieges on Gaza. So this will continue until we can like collectively awaken that we live in the belly of the beast and literally our tax dollars right now are supplying the bombs that are falling in Gaza.

0:42:16.3 Jinan Chehade: And we say this over again, right? I say this in all my speeches, I say this in protests, but what does this mean? Like, for us to be complicit in this, it means that we have a duty to be on the front lines when it comes to organizing for Palestine. So yes, as devastating as this was for my career, and as much as I was relying on this financially, like I truly have no regrets when it comes to what I said in speaking up for Palestine. I will never have any regrets because this is such a small sacrifice compared to what the people Gaza are enduring. So again, I think I have been awakened, a lot of people have been awakened and we're realizing more and more about we cannot continue slaving away to this corporate and institutions that are literally aiding in the genocide of our people.

0:42:57.8 Rhiannon: Ryna, your thoughts just about, you know.

0:43:01.6 Michael: Yeah, Ryna same question.

0:43:05.5 Rhiannon: No, I do, I, because you are current law student too, and just thinking, really just at the very beginning of your career. So go ahead. Yeah.

0:43:13.8 Ryna Workman: Yeah. So I think it's interesting for a lot of reasons I came to law school for similar reasons. And there aren't any other lawyers in my family. I think I had like a first or third cousin that's a lawyer, but he's like only like a few years older than me. So it's like the same like lateral. But I'm from South Carolina also. So I've lived in South Carolina my whole life. I came to New York for law school because of how I saw like New York lawyers moving in the immigration space during like Trump's like Muslim Ban. And I was like, oh, that's so cool. Like, people are helping people in JFK. Like, I wanna do something like that. But one thing I'll comment on in general is that coming to law school as a like black person with no other lawyers in their family, it was really easy for me to get roped in to like drinking like the big La Kool-Aid you know, like they come to these things, they buy you dinners.

0:44:04.3 Ryna Workman: And it's not even just about the dinners. It's like you meet people who you like like they network with you and you're like, oh, like this is a really cool person. Like they do really interesting work. And because I really had no like, conception of public interest law other than like doing good work to help people, like, which is awesome, but it just wasn't like tangible to me, especially as a first year law student. You speak to big law attorneys and they're like, oh, we'll train you, like you'll be able to do such good work your career. Like, you could always do public interest later, but you really need to get this like training and you need to like be in a place that can make you a better lawyer.

0:44:38.6 Ryna Workman: And I was like, I wanna be a great lawyer. Like that's why I came to law school. I'm spending so much money to be here. And so yeah. So like I got a diversity fellow or scholarship, whatever with Winston my 1L summer. So I've actually been, I was at Winston for two summers. And so I built those relationships. I worked in their Charlotte office when I was a 1L summer. And then when I was a 2L summer I was in New York. So it's like two offices. I meet a bunch of people. I have really good relationships with all of them. And so I was fully set to come back, like, and I enjoyed the work I was doing both as like a summer and like firm stuff, and then also like pro bono stuff. We did a lot of cool stuff.

0:45:13.5 Ryna Workman: So I was like, this is a good balance. Like I really loved our Chief Diversity officer. She made me feel really seen even when I came out as non-binary. So I was like, this is, this is good. I can make this work. But similar to Jinan, I think that these past two months have really shifted that for me because I was just reminded so quickly that like personal relationships only matter sorry if you're white, like I can have the best relationships in the world, but at the end of the day, if I'm a black non-binary person, those relationships only matter so much because the relationships I had were not with the white hiring manager who sent me the email evoking my author. Right. Like, and I didn't hear anything from many of the people that I did have relationships with before that happened. So it's like clearly my view of the relationship was not the same.

0:46:00.4 Ryna Workman: And so to me, I think like as far as career movement goes, I want to go somewhere that doesn't require me to have a personal relationship to feel like I belong in that place. And part of that is being around people who have similar politics, similar worldviews, because then you don't need that personal relationship to feel safe in your position. Right. Like you can be in an environment and know that people see you for being a good attorney, not just because you're friendly.

0:46:29.8 Ryna Workman: And you can talk to them about other stuff and not feeling like you're there as a diversity hire. Which I explicitly was. And I'm not ashamed of that. Like, that is like the fellowship program is so that you can be in a position that you might not have been able to get because you don't have any lawyers in your family.

0:46:47.1 Ryna Workman: So like that's something that has shifted. And I think that this idea of being able to do good work has also changed for me because I was able to do a clinic at NYU and so I worked with legal aid in their housing department, and so I did tenant defense and that was awesome. And that was something tangible that I was able to do that I didn't know about before I accepted my offers at Winston for the first summer and even the second summer actually. So it was just like, this is giving me an opportunity to explore those options that I didn't really know I had before I accepted my offer at Winston. But I also think we're not like, do you know what I'm saying? We're not under the rubble. And so at the end of the day, it's like these consequences for me, I can move through that and I should move through that and everyone should move through that. Like having endurance is important in this moment and continuing to be in a space where I can keep doing that. And so I'm grateful that I do have a semester left of law school to cause some good trouble.

0:47:40.1 Speaker 1: Beautiful.

0:47:41.4 Jinan Chehade: Yeah, I think you made really great points. And I think what I was also trying to point out, and I don't think we should all be like quitting our jobs and like, I'm not, it's not like I did get anybody in big law at all are meant to like shame them. Right. But it's truly just meant to point out that we're like in a time where we can't really remain passive about our condition anymore and kind of be like, like zombie mode. Like get the job, keep going. Like all of this stuff, which I think personally I've been in for a while. Yeah. It's more to say that there is a way to like use our power and be strategic in like every area is space we're in. And I think when it comes to students there's been a lot of fear when it comes to speaking up and that's obviously for due reason.

0:48:22.8 Jinan Chehade: And I think something that I've been thinking about a lot is how like students and youth have kind of always been at the forefront of like any liberation movement. They've always been the ones that have been like the most aggressive and unapologetic about the truth and just like pushing the discourse forward. And that's why they've been always the one that have been constantly under attacks the most, that's been heightened with this time. Right. But I've been trying to change my view and I think I would really encourage students and all of us here to change our view about these escalation of doxing and firing. It's not as a result of our lack of power, but it's more like more and more people are being called to like the truth and are like in this awakening really Zionists have really lost control of the narrative.

0:49:00.4 Jinan Chehade: I think there was a leaked interview by the director of the Anti-Defamation League where he said, we have a huge generational problem. So when we think about this, it's just like truly like there's an entire generation of people that's not limited to a certain background or identity or like job that have awakened and are like fighting back and speaking up for Palestinian liberation. So if you're worried about speaking up, like what I would say is first there's a way to be strategic about it. Like speaking up for Palestinian rights, not gonna get like fired right away. But also the more of us that speak up truly the more power and influence we have. And almost support for Palestinian liberation. Like make no mistake has become mainstream. Ignore some of these media outlets. But I feel like I, even when you look at the polls and all of us here and like when you look at the protests and the millions and millions of people around the world in the, in the United States just like flooded into the streets and it's not limited to a certain background, you realize that we, again, support for Palestine has become mainstream.

0:50:00.3 Jinan Chehade: It's just a matter of like all of us taking that step and like speaking up, even for me personally, like I was told, don't speak up, like you're gonna get fired from your job and then I got fired from my job. And like, don't talk about how you got fired from your job. It's gonna ruin your chances long term. And then I like went media public and pursued a lawsuit. And again, I say all this because I did a lot of thought and I realized this is like we have to set a precedent for our people and that they can't pick at us one by one. So for all students, everybody going through this right now know that you have an army at your back. Like truly the support that I've gotten in the last couple of weeks. Yeah. And I'm sure you, you agree since I've gotten public is just you all the devastation, all the fear that comes with being doxed or fired is like nothing compared to like the love and support you feel by like your community. And what, by when I say your community, I mean like all of us here. It's like people that are on, on the side of like truth and justice.

0:50:55.7 Peter: I agree. And it's like a very powerful illustration of the limits of corporate diversity that Ryna was literally a diversity scholarship or diversity fellow, but it turns out the only diversity they're they're interested in is an aesthetic one. The second that diversity extends to an opinion that is challenging the sort of elite status quo vocally. I wouldn't even say publicly since it was to a private student listserv, but just sort of out there a little bit that commitment to diversity is gone.

0:51:38.8 Jinan Chehade: Exactly.

0:51:39.5 Ryna Workman: Exactly.

0:51:41.4 Peter: And all of a sudden any challenging viewpoint is violence, right? Like actual threatening speech apparently.

0:51:52.5 Michael: Yeah. I mean like the ostensible benefit of diversity is in fact different viewpoints. Now, like for big law firms, obviously it's more like, like the pamphlet fucking shot of like a diverse team of lawyers that they can send to like American Lawyer Magazine or whatever. And advertise to incoming students that they're like maybe a place a place that's a a little bit more open-minded than your average law firm or whatever. As soon as someone with a unique perspective due to their diversity speaks up. They get squashed because it's not something that the law firms are actually interested in it, they're, they're doing PR.

0:52:34.8 Speaker 1: Right.

0:52:34.9 Jinan Chehade: They want a certain kind of minority. I'm like, I think we didn't fit that.

0:52:39.0 Michael: Yeah. Right.

0:52:40.6 Rhiannon: You did not and good for you.

0:52:42.9 Peter: Jinan, on your case. You've brought a legal action here. Which makes your situation a little bit unique. So can you tell us about that a bit? Where it stands and what you're looking to get out of it?

0:52:53.2 Jinan Chehade: Yeah.

0:52:53.2 Peter: Besides money.

0:52:57.5 Jinan Chehade: That would be nice. I can't lie. So this happened to me, I was fired officially on October 22nd. And so I sat with this and I kind of just like was processing and thinking about my next steps. And I really thought about pursuing a lawsuit for a while and talked to a lot of different employment attorneys, but I realized again, this is something that I needed to do to set a precedent that law firms can't, you know, just like target us for our background, our political opinion without accountability. Like this is insane that it's taken honestly this long for us to kind of like push back and be more on the offensive. 'cause since I've gone public with my story, like, I mean it, when I say I've received dozens of messages about people who have had their offers rescinded, have also been docked or fired. This is not exclusive to me, but a lot of other people can't go out in public because again, they also have their own financial situation in which they need another job. Which I do too, but like, we'll figure that out later.

0:53:51.5 Jinan Chehade: So in terms of the lawsuit, we filed the EEOC with the state. So once that investigation is over, we plan on filing in federal court official discrimination claim along with other claims as well. And my co-counsel on the case is CAIR Council on American Islamic Relations and the Rima Kapitan, which is a partner at Rima Kapitan Law. This is probably gonna be a longer, a longer struggle, but the support that we've had around this and people that are like really willing to support in whatever way possible, they're like, whatever you need, like whatever campaigns you need has been really nice. And hopefully this could be like a longer term precedent, not only for me, but for all of those. Again, I've, I have friends in big law right now and I'm like, listen, I'm doing this for y'all so that you're not called into a meeting next week and like interrogated about your social media posts in your background. So, that's where we're at right now with the lawsuit.

0:54:46.4 Rhiannon: And just to explain Jinan, a lot of our listeners are law students, young lawyers, and people who don't have a relation to the law at all. Or don't work in legal spaces. So you file a complaint with the EEOC, say that you win, what is the result? Like, what are you seeking?

0:55:01.2 Jinan Chehade: Yeah, for sure. So first the EEOC is like an investigation again with the state that goes through mediation. And then depending on that filing in federal court, which we plan on doing as well. So what in terms of what we're seeking, obviously like financial reparations, but also like setting a precedent and that like this Foley can't continue to do this. And again, this is not the first time that Foley has done this. There's a case back in 2008, post 9/11 in which Hassan won a case against Foley for discriminating against him for his identity post 9/11. So Foley really has a pattern of this and like in order to set precedent and to make sure that they're taking like long-term steps, which we're working with them on through either mediation or in the settlement as well. Yeah. We're just hoping that this lawsuit will have long-term strategies for folding other big law firms to implement to make sure that they're not doing this to other associates and as well when they're not tokenizing minorities. So we talked about diversity is not only about like the statement that you have on your website or what you're advertising to law students, but it's like true diversity of like diversity in political opinions, diversity in backgrounds and what that looks like and truly having a welcoming environment for minorities. So that's something I hope that like law firms can take seriously with this law firm and develop unique strategies towards...

0:56:19.3 Michael: I hope you win a lot of money.

0:56:21.3 Rhiannon: I hope so too.

0:56:21.5 Michael: Personally.

0:56:22.2 Rhiannon: I hope so.

0:56:22.3 Peter: I believe associates salaries just went up, so your lost wages are increasing by the day.

0:56:31.8 Ryna Workman: I just wanted to add one thing as a current like law student, is that I think it's really important for law schools to encourage critical thinking and not dictate opinions to their students or say like, or put words in their mouths, frankly. Especially because we come to law school to be advocates in whatever way that means. I mean, whether you're a big law attorney or public interest or whatever, like you still come to school, you spend a lot of money to become a good advocate for your own beliefs, for the beliefs of your clients. And so I think that this idea that there is a limit to what I can express, who I can express solidarity with is really harmful. Yeah. And I've had law students coming up to me asking me like, what is that like for you right now? And I think it is really harmful because I never wanna discourage people from joining this profession, especially people who look like me who hold similar identities to me.

0:57:30.5 Ryna Workman: But it is hard to tell them with a straight face that, you know, your legal education prepares you to be an advocate in this moment because it seems like only some advocates are worth training, worth bringing up at these institutions. But I say all that to say, don't let that stop you. And I gain my critical thinking skills, not because of the institution I attend, but despite it. So if you come with the intentions of being an advocate, you will leave with, with the skills of being an advocate regardless of where you attend.

0:57:57.9 Jinan Chehade: I think the last thing I would add that I didn't mention, but of course we alluded to, I just wanna make it crystal clear that our incidents and the things that we're talking about today is, is not exclusive to us, but is really part of this broader pattern of attacks we are seeing against people who speak up for Palestinian rights and share views that are critical of Israel. Right. Even for me, I live in Chicago from the stabbing of 6-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume he was literally six years old, stabbed 26 times. Our fathers knew each other like he's one of our community members. So the shooting of three students in Vermont again, the firing and doxing of students and employees, it's clear that the US foreign policy is responsible for this very like, dangerous environment that has been created against like Palestinians and those who speak up for Palestinian rights, Palestine legal itself.

0:58:48.1 Jinan Chehade: And again, we are both represented by Palestine Legal to some degree has reported over 800 incidents since October 7th of people being doxed fired or just repressed in general for their views on Palestinian rights. So although again, this is like a very critical time, I would just really like to point out to law students, it's a very scary time, but just remember what the point of doxing is and firing. But literally the point of doxing and firing is to make you feel isolated, to make you feel scared, but just know that you are not isolated. There are millions of people across the US that have similar views, but it's unfortunately these institutions that are trying to make you feel isolated and helpless and trying to instill fear in your heart. So we have so many resources out there for students and for employees. I would encourage everybody to reach out to Palestine Legal or different organizations that we have currently defending us. And again, right now we're seeing the resumption of the bombardment of Israel on Gaza. So it makes it even more urgent now than ever for us to speak up. And no state should ever be above criticism, and that's especially true when the state is carrying out genocide as we speak. But we're in this together and hopefully we'll see a free Palestine soon.

1:00:00.0 Rhiannon: We keep us safe, right? We keep us safe. Okay. Jinan and Ryna, I feel so inspired. I feel so proud of you two and everything that you're doing, thank you for giving us your time. Thanks for talking with us.

1:00:13.9 Peter: We appreciate your time. Yeah.

1:00:15.7 Ryna Workman: Thank you guys.

1:00:16.5 Jinan Chehade: Thank you all so much. This has been a great conversation. Thank you.

1:00:19.1 Michael: Thank you so much.

1:00:25.4 Peter: All right folks. In a couple of days we're dropping our annual giving episode. We've chosen some organizations we think could use some of your attention and perhaps money if you've got it. And then you can take a little bit of a break a few weeks off for us now because we're being lazy. No, not because we're celebrating the holidays. Okay. We're not. Instead we will be working on 5-4's most audacious project yet. We are doing a multi-part series starting in mid-January or so on the Federalist Society.

1:01:02.5 Rhiannon: Bababaam.

1:01:03.5 Peter: The organization you all know and love. The disgusting perverts who have planted their friends on a Supreme Court and run the conservative legal movements operation from the top down.

1:01:19.1 Rhiannon: Yeah. And are your biggest annoyance in law school currently?

1:01:23.4 Peter: That's right. The worst kid in your 1L class.

1:01:25.1 Michael: Yes. And the people who have made sure that ending American democracy is not a public position that will get you fired from your job.

1:01:36.1 Rhiannon: That's right. Right.

1:01:38.9 Peter: So that's a cool academic discussion to have amongst high-minded folks.

1:01:41.7 Michael: That's right.

1:01:42.6 Peter: We'll be talking about the history of the organization. We're conducting some interviews with experts on the organization. We're also conducting some interviews with Ex Federalist Society members. Get the inside scoop on what these little freaks are up to.

1:01:55.6 Rhiannon: It's gonna be good. Get excited.

1:01:57.2 Peter: And then we'll be talking about how to beat them. Besides podcasting which is the number one strategy. All right folks. Thanks for listening. We'll see you later.

1:02:10.0 Michael: Bye.

1:02:11.7 Rhiannon: Bye y'all.

1:02:13.5 Leon: 5-4 is presented by Prologue Projects. Rachel Ward is our producer. Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons provide editorial support. And our researcher is Jonathan DeBruin Peter Murphy designed our website Our artwork is by Teddy Blanks at Chips NY, and our theme song is by Spatial Relations.