Law Schools

Would-Be Law Prof Sues for Age Bias, Asks Why Schools Don't Value Experience

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Updated: A Michigan lawyer who didn’t get an interview for a faculty job at the University of Iowa has sued for age discrimination.

Immigration lawyer Donald Dobkin says he was 55 when he responded to a law school ad last year seeking teachers with experience in administrative law, immigration and other practice areas, the National Law Journal (reg. req.) reports.

Dobkin, a professor at Central Michigan University, claims the Iowa school offered the job to two applicants under 40 with lesser qualifications. Dobkin has written several articles on immigration and constitutional law, and he has handled more than 7,000 immigration cases. But he didn’t even get an interview, according to the complaint.

“Academia is not above the law,” Dobkin said in an e-mail to the ABA Journal. “The legal academy is the only professional educational body which has professors teaching who have never practiced their profession (with some exceptions) yet purport to be competent to train the future lawyers of the 21st century.”

Dobkin told the ABA Journal that if the court awards him the Iowa job, he will donate his first year’s salary, after expenses, to homeless children.

Updated at 9:15 a.m. to include comments by Dobkin.

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