Criminal Justice

Sidley Austin Rescinds Offer to New Hire Suspected of Setting Fire to 9-11 Chapel


Updated: The law firm Sidley Austin has rescinded an employment offer to a Harvard law graduate who has turned himself in to police for allegedly setting fire to a Sept. 11 memorial in Manhattan.

The suspect, 26-year-old Brian Schroeder, is a 2009 graduate of Harvard Law School, the Harvard Law Record reports. He was a 2008 summer associate at Sidley Austin; a permanent offer of employment has been rescinded, Sidley Austin partner Bill Conlon told the ABA Journal.

Schroeder turned himself in for the blaze at the Memorial Park chapel housing the remains of unidentified Sept. 11 victims on Saturday evening, according to the New York Post and the New York Times. The remains were unharmed, but mementos such as photos and flowers were either damaged or stolen. Sources told the Post that the Saturday morning fire may have been set as part of a drunken dare.

Schroeder was co-president of HLS Lambda and served on a task force considering the impact of military recruiting on the campus gay community, according to the Harvard Law Record. He was a theater major as an undergraduate at Duke, and acted in Harvard’s school satire called the Parody. He also edited the Harvard Latino Law Review.

An unidentified relative of Schroeder’s told the Post that he has no radical political bent. “It’s clearly out of his character and I’m sure he feels for the victims’ families,” the relative added.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. to include information from Sidley Austin.

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