Paul L. Caron

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Former AG Sues Five Additional Law Schools for Age Discrimination in Faculty Hiring

Spaeth Following up on my prior posts:

Blog of the Legal Times, Law School Fights Former N.D. Attorney General's Age Discrimination Suit:

Nicholas Spaeth, the former attorney general for North Dakota, first sued the school on July 28 in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Spaeth claims that despite his vast experience as a lawyer, [Michigan State University College of Law] passed him over for a teaching job because he was too old.

The school moved for dismissal on Oct. 14. Less than a month later, Spaeth filed an amended complaint on Nov. 7, this time against Michigan and five additional schools and their representatives. On Nov. 21, Michigan renewed its motion to dismiss, and asked in the alternative that the court separate it from the other defendants and move the case to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. ...

The other schools now named in the lawsuit include University of Missouri School of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, Georgetown University Law Center, University of Iowa College of Law and University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.

(Hat Tip: Donald Dobkin.)

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Scholarship has become the sine qua non of faculty hiring. Mr. Spaeth has zero law review (or peer reviewed) articles to his name. Instead of drafting complaints, perhaps he should have spent his VAP writing.

Posted by: published prof | Nov 28, 2011 12:26:07 PM

I continue to believe this case is much less trivial than others seem to.

Posted by: mike livingston | Nov 27, 2011 10:49:19 PM


Persons interested in this topic might read Ethan S. Burger and Douglas Richmond, The Future of Law School Faculty Hiring in Light of Smith v. City of Jackson, 13 Va. J. Soc. Pol'y & L. 1, 21 (2005).


Posted by: Ethan S. Burger | Nov 27, 2011 9:51:37 PM

He's right, unfortunately.

Although, I am the only faculty member at this place to have ever been cited in a US Supreme Court opinion (and recently); I regularily publish scholarly articles, amicus briefs, and write significant statutory changes; and I'm damned influential at our state Legislature, I got this last month from a young lady who erroneously believes that she is one of my Colleagues. She is a co-worker, though.

"As you know, I think one thing gravely hurting us now [re USN&WR rankings] is the fact that ... older faculty refuse to move on... . I just don't buy that the economic downturn has made it impossible financially for some to retire. (I am not meaning you specifically [s-u-r-e], but all of us generally.)"

It's not economics, although I do like to take the University's money and spend it on my personal choice of luxuries, it's the intellectual excitement (as always) plus the new element of saying "no" to her and the rest of her homies.

Posted by: Law Prof | Nov 27, 2011 6:18:45 PM

I wasn't aware that Michigan State has a law school. I know the University of Michigan does have one. Is there a 'typo" here?

Posted by: RonT | Nov 27, 2011 6:17:22 PM

A lawyer suing law schools... it can't get any better than that.

Posted by: Mike Perry | Nov 27, 2011 6:08:11 PM