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May 04, 2007

AutoAdmit founder loses job offer

It started so well, originally uploaded by Trois Têtes (TT).


A law firm has rescinded a job offer to Anthony Ciolli.

Despite what Ciolli claims, Jill did not get Anthony Ciolli fired. Ciolli implies that he got fired because Jill spoke to a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. A reporter did call Jill for a quote on May 2, but the WSJ law blog has correspondence proving that Ciolli's offer was withdrawn on April 20.


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So, did Ciolli think he was just going to keep the identity of his firm a secret? That seems ridiculous.

I don't gain much pleasure from this development, because I don't think that running an unmoderated, anonymous forum is so obviously wrong that anyone should suffer too heavily for it. The underlying attitudes and behaviors on display at AutoAdmit are more important than getting a scalp from Sciolli. Besides, the controversy-shy impulses that got his offer rescinded are the exact same controversy-shy impulses that may've kept the defamed applicants from getting offers in the first place. It's an understandable but unfortunate way for firms to feel, no matter who ends up with the shit end of the stick.

You don't have to be especially risk-averse to see why Ciolli is a massive liability for any law firm. He's the public face of a notorious discussion board dedicated to trashing other lawyers.

Gosh rejected by other wonder he is depressed! Couldn't happen to a nicer guy!

No doubt.

Just a point of question, though... is he claiming Jill got the offer rescinded, or is he claiming that it's Jill's fault that the public found out that his job offer got rescinded. I just read the comments she quoted on feministe, and it looks like he's blaming her for it becoming public there, not for the actual firing.

A minor difference (and, from the sounds of it, just as wrong), but my curiosity was piqued.

I'm just going by the Ciolli passage Jill quoted at feministe:

My impression from the phone conversation was that this was the chronology: 1) Jill Filipovic from Feministe tells WSJ that I worked at EAP&D 2) WSJ reporter calls EAP&D, and the firm says I had my offer rescinded. 3) WSJ reporter emails me saying they’re going to run a story on it tomorrow.

He could be implying that the WSJ wouldn't have found out about his firm rescinding the offer. (Which isn't true.)

Or, he could be implying that the firm rescinded his offer because the Wall Street Journal contacted his bosses after finding out from Jill where he was going to work. (Also not true.)

The WSJ Law Blog that broke the news is getting spammed by AutoAdmit's flying monkeys. Oh, the outrage over free-speech-defender Anthony Ciolli's unjust treatment...!

What a bunch of whinging wankers.

A quote from the WSJ Blog site: “We [DeWitt, et al.,] expect any lawyer affiliated with our firm, when presented with the kind of language exhibited on the message board, to reject it and to disavow any affiliation with it. You, instead, facilitated the expression and publication of such language. . . . ”

Now count the number of "anonymous" comment threads following the article. It is shocking how many lawyers still don't get it. BTW, good call, Lindsay, with respect to comment policy.

Lindsay, your second interpretation is pretty unlikely, unless the firm decided to rescind the offer as they were talking to the WSJ reporter. They told the WSJ reporter in the phone conversation (the only one mentioned) that the offer had been rescinded (the past tense, "had," makes the second interpretation even more unlikely). However, the AutoAdmit assholes who support Ciolli seem to be equally prone to that misinterpretation of what he said.

Since Ciolli has assumed the mantle of victim so easily, quickly and well he has a certain bright future on the right. He will be on the staff of some 'conservative' group within months I predict. I wonder how his girlfriend Muffy has reacted to all this?

I'm not shedding any tears for this guy. I hope it happens to more auto-admitters. They're clearly sexual harassment risks, and they don't really deserve a chance to prove it in the real world.

How heart-rending that Mr. Ciolli lost his job offer. It pains me to no end knowing that one asshole won't be getting a job in the very near future. It's frightening to think that a whole generation of misogynistic law school graduates might be denied lucrative career opportunities merely because they use their freedom of speech to projectile vomit all over their peers. How tragic.

I'm not happy about this. I'm afraid I'm too cynical to think that jobs are being lost or withheld for the right reasons, and mostly because people are controversy-averse. Someone innocent sucked into a trumped-up controversy (for instance, *cough*, illegitimate rumors about anti-Catholic bigotry) will end up paying because of this culture of paranoia.

It's not paranoia to decline to hire Ciolli. Paranoia would be concern about what he might do. This time, the firm knows what Ciolli has already done.

He already resigned in disgrace from AutoAdmit. Someone in the AA peanut gallery started mass-mailing powerful law professors in a ham handed attempt to undermine a female law student. AutoAdmit got written up in the Washington Post, with Ciolli prominently defending the board and nominating it for a "gold star." The AutoAdmit harassment crisis sparked several meetings with deans of maor law schools. In short, Ciolli has already hurt and/or angered a lot of powerful people in his profession. He refuses to take responsibility for his role in the debacle.

No sane firm would take this guy on. He's a disgrace.

I posted about that site earlier. It's kind of reassuring that what goes around occasionally comes around too.

I'm not cheering over this either, but as the "bully culture" devours yet another of its own I'm not shedding any tears over it either.

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