Former North Dakota Attorney General Nicholas Spaeth has lost his age discrimination lawsuit against Georgetown University Law Center. A Washington federal judge ruled yesterday that Georgetown presented non-discriminatory reasons – chiefly, Spaeth's lack of academic scholarship – for rejecting his application for a tenure-track teaching job.
After a long career practicing law in government and private practice, Spaeth began pursuing law school teaching posts around 2009. He sued Georgetown and five other schools in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia after he failed to get an interview through the Association of American Law Schools faculty recruitment conference in 2010.
In yesterday's opinion, Huvelle found the record was clear that academic scholarship was a "primary concern" for Georgetown in weighing applicants. Spaeth failed to list any relevant publications in his application, she wrote, rebuffing Spaeth's argument that the focus on scholarship was a pretext for age-based bias. Even if Spaeth made it to the interview stage, she found, he failed to show he would have been hired over the three applicants who did get teaching jobs that year.