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Professor Exposing the ‘Law School Scam’ Launches Title VII Lawsuit
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University of Colorado Boulder law professor Paul Campos, renowned for his critique of the legal academy’s unsustainable economic model, has filed a federal complaint against his employer, alleging discrimination and retaliation. The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, accuses the university of violating pay discrimination and retaliation laws under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1966.

Campos, the sole Latino senior law faculty member, claims that a university salary study conducted in 2021 revealed he was underpaid by $13,756 annually. In addition to pay disparities, the lawsuit asserts that Campos faced unfair treatment, including a lower rating within the university system, repercussions for taking parental leave, removal from a faculty committee, and the loss of a property class teaching assignment.

While the university spokesperson declined to comment on the ongoing lawsuit, Campos contends that his criticisms of the law school’s financing have made him a target within the institution. According to Campos, the law school spends double its generated revenue, a financial situation he attributes to a lack of accountability and a disregard for the consequences of misusing external funds.


The professor argues that his underpayment is significantly greater than the university’s findings because the wage study failed to consider salary discrepancies related to endowed professorships. Campos, the only tenured faculty member in his experience range without an endowed professorship, claims that less-experienced colleagues received these honors instead. Additionally, he highlights his extensive academic influence, asserting that between 2015 and 2021, he received more citations in academic literature than any of his colleagues.

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Campos’s notable works include a 2015 New York Times opinion piece on the rising costs of college tuition, a 2021 New York magazine feature about the Former Presidents Act, followed by a 2022 Michigan State Law Review article on the same subject, and his 2022 book titled “A Fan’s Life: The Agony of Victory and the Thrill of Defeat,” published by the University of Chicago Press. Furthermore, his 2014 feature in The Atlantic, titled “The Law School Scam,” exposed the exploitative practices of for-profit law schools.

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The University of Colorado Boulder evaluates professors based on research, teaching, and service. In 2022, Campos received a low rating of 3 out of 5, which the lawsuit describes as an “extremely low score.” Notably, this rating was assigned for the 2021 calendar year, during which Campos was on parental leave for the spring term and subsequently took a fall sabbatical. According to the complaint, Pierre Schlag, a law school professor who chaired the committee responsible for the rating, refused to provide an explanation for their recommendation. Additionally, the complaint alleges that the law school’s dean, Lolita Buckner Inniss, failed to independently evaluate the rating when Campos requested.

Campos asserts that his low rating was influenced by bias against his Latino background and his decision to take paternity leave. However, Inniss swiftly dismissed these claims. In response to Campos expressing his dissatisfaction with the evaluation and indicating his potential lawsuit, Inniss sent him an email stating that he would be removed from the evaluations committee. When Campos protested this removal, the school assigned him to a different committee without his knowledge, according to his claims.

Furthermore, the complaint contends that Campos was unjustly removed from teaching a property class based on allegations of making racially offensive and gender-biased comments during the previous academic year. Campos denies these allegations and emphasizes that the school has failed to provide any evidence to support them. He asserts that the handling of the situation violated university rules, as he was not provided examples of the alleged remarks nor given an opportunity to address the accusations before losing his teaching assignment.

As the legal proceedings unfold, Paul Campos’s lawsuit against the University of Colorado Boulder sheds light on the challenges and controversies within the legal education system, particularly regarding discrimination, retaliation, and financial mismanagement.

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