“Litigating One’s Way to a Faculty Appointment”

by Walter Olson on August 3, 2011

Former North Dakota Attorney General Nicholas Spaeth may face an uphill fight in a newly filed action alleging age discrimination in law faculty hiring, predicts Jeff Lipshaw [PrawfsBlawg, with comments]. Spaeth believes “more than 100 law schools discriminated against him by refusing to consider him for teaching jobs because of his age” despite an impressive earlier career in the law [ABA Journal]. Represented by attorney Lynne Bernabei, Spaeth has sued Michigan State and expects to add other schools as defendants. As Prawfsblawg commenters note, Spaeth’s underlying gripe may be with the overwhelmingly dominant model of law faculty hiring (reinforced by accreditation and rating pressures) in which expected future scholarly output, as opposed to, say, teaching excellence or even adequacy, tends to dominate hiring for tenured positions.

{ 1 comment }

1 Bumper 08.03.11 at 11:33 am

I know if I was dean of a law school I would really, really want to hire a crabby, litigious, old grouch, who probably thinks he’s worth more than the going rate because of his “impressive earlier career in the law” as a member of my faculty. Just saying…

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