Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Activists say they'll deliver on Friday signatures from more than 600 law students pledging to boycott the firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison unless it ditches Exxon as a client.

Why it matters: It signals the evolving tactics of climate advocates. Another example of the widening scope are campaigns in recent years to pressure tech giants over their emissions and work with oil companies.

  • Paul Weiss ranks poorly in a climate scorecard of big firms released this month by the new group Law Students for Climate Accountability.
  • The signatures being delivered today come from students at over 45 schools, the group said.
  • Harvard and Yale law students protested at Paul Weiss recruitment events in January and February.

The other side: Paul Weiss, in a statement to news outlets around the Yale protests, said, "We are proud of the outstanding work we do for a wide range of commercial and pro bono clients in their most challenging and high-profile matters, including our recent defense of ExxonMobil in a securities fraud case in which the court found, after trial, that plaintiff’s claims were entirely without merit."

The intrigue: Some firms are taking notice of how they're perceived by students coming into the profession.

  • This month, Cozen O’Connor and Wilson Sonsini posted statements noting they're among only four firms with "A" grades in the Law Students for Climate Accountability scorecard.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Oct 17, 2020 - Economy & Business

How lawyers learned to Zoom

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The COVID-19 pandemic has nudged the legal industry to more widely adopt virtual business practices.

Why it matters: Lawyers have rarely been early adopters when it comes to tech, but the pressures of the pandemic on their bottom line have forced law firms to adapt or die — and clients may end up benefiting.

Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.