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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

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
Jan 12, 2021 - Science

Scientists discover 10 billion-year-old "super-Earth" planet

Artist's illustration of the planet TOI-561b. Image: W. M. Keck Observatory/Adam Makarenko

Scientists have discovered a rocky “super-Earth” planet in an ancient star system that likely formed 10 billion years ago, only a few billion years after our Milky Way galaxy came to be.

Why it matters: The newfound planet likely can't support life, but in general, researchers think older planetary systems have better odds of possibly harboring life because they're long-lived.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
33 mins ago - Economy & Business

Why it's so hard to tax wealth

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The wealth tax that wasn't a wealth tax isn't even a tax, now. The Democrats had a meticulously constructed 107-page proposal to pay for a large chunk of their spending plans with a tax on billionaires, but it died ignobly on Wednesday, the same day it was unveiled.

Why it matters: The dream of a wealth tax will never die as it so neatly generates revenue by reducing inequality. But there are three main reasons why that dream is likely to remain just a dream for the foreseeable future.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

Public health messaging lessons for the next pandemic

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

"Be first, be right, be credible" is the mantra of public health experts in a crisis. It's difficult to argue that the health community has regularly managed to be any of those three during COVID-19.

Why it matters: A pandemic isn't just a medical emergency — it's also a communications emergency. The U.S. public health establishment, hamstrung by bad data and political interference, has struggled with the latter.