Search the Lounge


« Court Rightly Embraced a 'Living' Constitution in Death Penalty Case | Main | LSAC Data and Predicting Number of Applicants for 2016-17, Part 28 »

June 27, 2016


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Any indication of what substantive areas they're looking for?


Agreed. That would be helpful information.

Alfred L. Brophy

I posted everything that was sent to me, so I don't have any more information. (This is my usual practice. I rarely, if ever, know anything more than what I've posted when I put up announcements.)

Orin Kerr

"BOSTON COLLEGE LAW SCHOOL expects to make three faculty appointments this year in several fields, with a focus on candidates with 0-10 years’ experience in the academy."

Random question. A lot of law schools are thinking this way right now -- it's less expensive, among other things. Is it okay under the ADEA because it is formally about years of experience, not age? Just curious about how the ADEA deals with this, if at all.



Do we not all recognize, without doubt, that in the context of discussion about a position in legal academia, age is usually a disqualifying factor and "years of experience" is used merely as proxy? Most faculty make no secret of it.

Do you recall this article, way back when: David Segal, What They Don’t Teach Law Students: Lawyering, NEW YORK TIMES, November 19, 2011? Great foreshadowing there.

Quoting from the article: "It is widely believed that after lawyers have spent more than eight or nine years practicing, their chances of getting a tenure-track job at law school start to dwindle. 'Nobody wants to become a retirement home, or a place for washed-out lawyers,' says xxx, dean of the law school at the xxx, who came to the meat market with six positions to fill."

(Name omitted to avoid personalizing the nature of this issue.)

A "retirement home"? Indeed. Review of the available data verified this widely-shared point of view.

Read the quote and think, just a bit, about what was stated. To be sure, there is the argument that the practice of law is dirties the candidate. But, the truth has a way of poking out.

One way that the legal academy resists the nearly uniform demand by nearly all interested parties outside of the academy to hire persons with meaningful experience in practice is to discriminate on the basis of age. Most of us know those faculty who will proudly say that anything more than a few years in practice is disqualifying will also calmly tell you that anyone over 40 has a big problem.

Are there exceptions? Sure.

How willfully wrongful and oblivious can the conduct of the legal academy be? Well, ask yourself this: what chance would anyone have of prevailing in a suit (given the "practice dirties the candidate" trope likely working despite the fact that it is refuted regularly by high profile prestige appointments). Having failed, what chance would that person then have of obtaining employment in the legal academy? This is the way that discriminators always have prevailed, and prevail still, with impunity.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Law? Shmlaw.


re anon @3:26-- Or maybe Boston College, like many law schools, has multiple faculty positions to fill, but only has the resources to hire entry-level and junior lateral candidates? That seems like the obvious explanation. And that doesn't sound like any sort of age discrimination, nor does it reflect any disfavor for attorneys with significant practice experience. Experienced law professors simply get paid more than junior folks. If more experienced law professors were willing to accept entry-level salaries, I'm sure places like BC would love to hire them.



Leave it at that doesn't seem obvious at all.

Especially because anyone familiar with legal academy knows that the dean quoted above was expressing THE sentiment.

BTW, you can throw in religion, race, sexual orientation as well as age. Look back at the thread where a commentator looked at a picture of a new Dean and, while not a verbatim quote, seemed to exclaim: "OH NO, not another one!" (i.e., middle aged white male of a certain religion).

Legal academia is one of the most bigoted environments one can encounter in modern America, mainly because those who hold positions of power there are insulated and immune, and therefore have no fear of expressing their prejudices and no concern whatsoever for the law barring discrimination in various iterations. (Many of them, from privileged environments, feel entitled to this posture nonetheless, believing that the injustices suffered by others with whom they identify is justification enough for their vindictive and retributive stance.)

Being psuedo-lawyers, with little or no training or experience but oversized egos, they also believe themselves able to defend themselves against any charge, and thus, above the law.

Again, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

The comments to this entry are closed.


  • StatCounter
Blog powered by Typepad