Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Adjunct Unionization

As readers of this blog all know, adjuncts are abused by many, if not most universities. They make up the majority of the faculty, but are the lowest paid, have no job security or benefits. It now appears that some adjuncts are fighting back by organizing.

Adjuncts generally have no say in the goverance of the university and therefore, they do not have a "Yeshiva problem." Recall, that in 1980 the Supreme Court in a case called Yeshiva Univ v. NLRB held that faculty who ran the university were managers and therefore, not protected under the National Labor Relations Act.

An interesting post on Workplace Prof Blog explores some of these issues and is available here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

October 13, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Interesting Article About Adjunct Abuse

The Daily Gazette ran an interesting article on September 22, 2013 about adjunct abuse, here.  The article highlights the fact that adjuncts do not make a living wage. As the article states:

Over the past couple of decades, the number of contingent — or non-tenure track — faculty positions has increased dramatically throughout the U.S., while the number of full-time tenure track positions has fallen.

The trend prompted the American Association of University Professors to highlight the issue in its 2012-13 annual report, which notes “More than three out of every four instructional staff positions (76 percent) are filled on a contingent basis.” Between 1975 and 2011, part-time faculty appointments “increased in number by more than 300 percent,” while “the number of faculty members in full-time tenured or tenure-track positions grew by only 26 percent during the same period.”

“The move to contingent, part-time faculty represents a shift in higher education,” said Bret Benjamin, president of the University at Albany’s chapter of United University Professions, the union representing SUNY employees.

Benjamin said the organization is “getting more involved” in issues related to contingent faculty.

“The faculty who teach [as adjuncts] make a pittance,” Benjamin said. “They make $2,800 per course, and they are almost never hired to teach more than two courses. These are people with Ph.D.s, and they’re making $11,000 a year. I don’t think that’s a livable wage in Albany or anywhere else.

Hat Tip: Harvey Marlow

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

 

 

September 23, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0)

Death of an Adjunct

Daniel Kovalik, senior associate general counsel of the United Steelworkers union, shared the story last week of the recent death of 25-year Duquesne adjunct professor Margaret Mary Vojtko in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  This story has also been featured on National Public Radio.

Hat Tip:  The Faculty Lounge.

Craig Estlinbaum

September 23, 2013 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Profology and Other Adjunct News

Profology

The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Bob Ertischek, an adjunct professor at Monroe Community College in Rochester, has created a social media network for people working in higher education.  The site is called Profology.  The site describes itself as "a place where faculty and other higher education professionals can meet, exchange ideas and work to improve pedagogy, research, classroom technology and assessment, and more."  The platform actually opened in beta in 2011, and went fully operational sometime last year, but I just heard about it, so it's news to me.  And now, maybe to you.

IRS and Adjuncts

The IRS has posted guidance in the Federal Register relating to compensation for adjunct faculty, according to a Huffington Post report earlier this month.  From the HuffPo story:

The IRS noted in the Federal Register that "educational organizations generally do not track the full hours of service of adjunct faculty, but instead compensate adjunct faculty on the basis of credit hours taught." In short, most colleges are only paying part-time instructors for time spent in a classroom, and nothing for time spent grading or preparing.

The Treasury Department and the IRS are considering and "invite further comment on how best to determine the full-time status of employees" like educators, who may work many hours after students leave the classroom.

Correctly classifying adjunct, part-time or non-tenured faculty has taken on increased importance as the Affordable Care Act provisions relating to employer coverage come into effect.

Adjuncts and Governance

A joint subcommittee of the Association’s Committee on Contingency and the Profession and the Committee on College and University Governance, approved a final version of a report, "The Inclusion in Governance of Faculty Members Holding Contingent Appointments."  The report includes a broad range of recommendations designed to address the fact that more and more teaching at college and universities is performed by adjunct, part-time or non-tenured faculty.  Collene Flaherty at Inside Higher Ed has a summary and commentary on the report here.

Craig Estlinbaum

January 24, 2013 in Adjuncts in the News, College Professors, Colleges, Faculty in the News, Tax Law Information | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Adjunct Law Professor Reportedly Sexually Abuses Law Student

Adjunct Law Professors are people too and sometimes an adjunct may do bad things. An adjunct law professor at William Mitchell College of Law stands accused of of unzipping his pants and forcing a female law student to squeeze his penis. The law student reported the incident. Above the Law has all of the details.

All I can say is that I hope this is not true.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

July 31, 2012 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adjunct Law Professor Bud Selig!!-Shame on Marquette Law School

Bud who? Bud Selig, the Commissioner of Baseball and former owner of the Brewers is now an adjunct professor of law at Marquette University Law School of Law. Only problem is that Selig is not a lawyer. Think he may have some connections? You can read about in the National Law Journal and at MSNBC.

I think this is a total disgrace to law professors and am disappointed in Marquette Law School. No doubt Mr. Selig is an accomplished professional and no doubt that he can be an asset to any school by an occasional lecture about some of his experiences. But it is quite another thing to teach a class to students learning to be lawyers and to evaluate students, i.e., grade them.  Law school is not business school and I am sorry to say that this appears to be a publicity stunt by Marquette Law School.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

 

November 27, 2010 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Univ. of Illinois Adjunct Prof. Reinstated After He Was Terminated Because of His Religious Beliefs

Fox News reported, here, that the University of Illinois reinstated an adjunct college professor who reportedly was terminating for stating that he agreed with the church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral. Query whether this professor had a valid First Amendment claim under Garcetti and Pickering.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

August 5, 2010 in Adjuncts in the News, First Amendment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 14, 2010

School Law Jobs

School Law Jobs
Job Title Employer Job Location
Labor & Employment Attorney Lozano Smith Fresno, California
Legal Counsel II Whittier Area Cooperative Special Education Program Whittier, California
School Attorney Harbottle Law Group Orange County, California
Special Education Attorney Lozano Smith Fresno, California
School Attorney Law Firm Denver, Colorado
General Counsel School Board of Broward County Florida
School Law Attorney Brannan Legal Search Chicago, Illinois
Attorney Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos & Green, P.C. Austin, Texas
Attorney Walsh, Anderson, Brown, Gallegos & Green, P.C. Irving, Texas
Assistant General Counsel Tacoma Public Schools Tacoma, Washington

May 14, 2010 in Adjuncts in the News, Lawyer Employment | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Adjunct Prof Gov. Spitzer's Salary

As reported on Adjunct Prof Blog, former Gov. Spitzer has accepted a position as an adjunct professor of political science at CUNY. The New York Times reported on Sep't. 3, 2009 that Gov. Spitzer is donating his entire salary back to CUNY. Spitzer is being paid $4,500 for the semester so its not much of a donation for him to make.

The article points out an important fact of adjunct life. Adjuncts are grossly underpaid-even Gov. Spitzer. Most adjuncts teach out of the love for teaching and that is probably why they are considered amongest the best teachers at many colleges and law schools.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 8, 2009 in Adjuncts in the News, College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Adjunct Professor Spitzer

Disgraced former Governor Elliot Spitzer starts a new job on Tuesday. He will be an adjunct professor of Political Science at CUNY. Lower Hudson carried the story here.

I wonder if he applied to be a law professor. I'm guessing that he did, but no law school would hire him.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

September 1, 2009 in Adjunct Information in General, Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Michigan State Faculty Unionize

Inside Higher Education reported on June 1, 2009 that the non-tenured and adjunct faculty voted to unionize. The bargaining unit appears to not include tenure track profs and the union is the AFT. Additional information is available from the union's press release. It is unknown to me whether the unit includes non-tenured profs at the law school.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein  

June 1, 2009 in Adjuncts in the News, College Professors, Colleges | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Conflict of Interest for Adjunct at Rutgers-Newark Law

Dan Filler at The Faculty Lounge picked up this story by Henry Gottlieb, New Jersey Law Journal, about Rutgers-Newark Law forcing adjunct professor Sheryl Mintz Goski to choose between working as an adjunct at the school or representing a client in a dispute with Rutgers Business School.  Ms. Goski chose the client and will give up here teaching gig at the law school.

From the story:

A couple of other adjuncts at state law schools say the rule is clear, though Goski may have a point about the distance between adjunct professors and schools.

I hesitate to use the word 'attenuated,' which is maybe what she says it is, but it almost seems to fit," Andrew Kushner of Asbell, Kushner & Eutsler in Cherry Hill, N.J.

Kushner, an adjunct professor of professional responsibility at Rutgers Law School-Camden, adds, however: "Practically speaking, the university has an interest in preserving the perception that there is no funny business going on between one of their staff -- albeit a part-time staff member who teaches in another school in the university -- and a case involving a private client."

"One can understand the reason for the rule, one can understand the purpose of it and from that perspective I don't have a problem with it," he adds. He says Goski made the right choice: the client.

"Sometimes you have to shrug your shoulders and move on," he says.

Jeffrey Mandel of PinilisHalpern in Morristown, N.J.,an adjunct professor of appellate practice at Rutgers-Newark, jokes that if he were told about the one-rule-fits-all-faculty policy, he would respond, "Are you going to pay me the same?

I wonder if Professor Mandel is really joking.

Craig Estlinbaum

May 21, 2009 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Adjunct Blog Hits 100,000 Milestone

This weekend was an important one for me. I spoke at the Third Annual Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law Scholarship at California Western School of Law in San Diego California and this blog surpassed the 100,000 visitor mark. This blog started on May 7, 2007 which is less than a year and half ago.

Thank you for your continued support. Please continue to send me copies of articles or cases you think our readers may find of interest and please feel free to continue to pass around our URL. I also wanted to thank your two contributing editors for their support.

Mitchell Rubinstein

October 26, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADJUNCT LAW PROFESSOR BLOG

Birthday_candles_2  Today is a milestone. It marks our first birthday in the blogosphere. Sometime later today, we will pass    56, 000 visitors!!! That is amazing and speaks volumes about the strength of the Internet and blogs. When I started this, I had no idea what to expect. I was hoping for 25,000 visitors.  As you can see, we have more than doubled that.

I hope to significantly increase our readership. I need your help for that. Please pass my URL around to lawyers, professors and students whom you think might be interested. Additionally, if you have an idea about a story or want to publicize something of note, please send me an email at professorrubinstein@gmail.com. Some of our best posts have been from ideas that we have gotten from you.

I also wanted to thank our two wonderful contributing editors, Professor Eric Lustig of New England Law School and  Adjunct Professor Craig Estlinbaum who is also a Judge in Texas. Keep posting...

Thanks again for your support.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

May 13, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Adjunct Prof Blog Hits A Milestone By Surpassing 50,000 Visitors!!

I am delighted to report that Adjunct Law Prof Blog just had its 50,000 visitor! We have been up and running since May 14, 2007 which is less than one year. Please continue to send me your ideas and pass our URL around. Some of my best postings come from ideas generated by you.

This has been alot of work for me. However, I find it rewarding and hopefully we have been of assistance to other adjuncts, other scholars, lawyers and students.

Thank you for your contined support.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

 

April 22, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

William & Mary Adjunct Contributes to New Kosovo Constitution

Christie S. Warren, an Adjunct Professor of Law at William & Mary, will participate in the signing ceremonies next Monday for the newly certified Kosovo Constitution.  Warren, director of the William & Mary’s Program for Comparative Legal Studies and Post-Conflict Justice, was one of several American legal experts that assisted the Kosovo Government in drafting the new constitution.

Here is today's William & Mary press release describing Professor Warren's contribution toward this project.  Assisting a nation in drafting its constitution would seem to be one of the most challenging and potentially rewarding assignments an attorney could undertake.  Congratulations, Professor Warren!

Craig Estlinbaum

April 3, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Federal Judge Blocks Whistleblower Website

A federal judge issued an injunction last week ordering a California domain registrar to block access to Wikileaks.org, a website that posts leaked materials, the New York Times reports.  From the Adam Liptak and Brad Stone story:

In a move that legal experts said could present a major test of First Amendment rights in the Internet era, a federal judge in San Francisco on Friday ordered the disabling of a Web site devoted to disclosing confidential information.

The site, Wikileaks.org, invites people to post leaked materials with the goal of discouraging “unethical behavior” by corporations and governments. It has posted documents concerning the rules of engagement for American troops in Iraq, a military manual concerning the operation of prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and other evidence of what it has called corporate waste and wrongdoing.

The case in San Francisco was brought by a Cayman Islands bank, Julius Baer Bank and Trust. In court papers, the bank claimed that “a disgruntled ex-employee who has engaged in a harassment and terror campaign” provided stolen documents to Wikileaks in violation of a confidentiality agreement and banking laws. According to Wikileaks, “the documents allegedly reveal secret Julius Baer trust structures used for asset hiding, money laundering and tax evasion.”

The story goes on to report that the injunction has been largely ineffective because Wikileaks maintains mirror sites that act as insurance against such legal actions.  Wikileaks supporters have apparently been hard at work publicizing these sites (and the article includes helpful links to these mirror sites as well).

Michael Froomkin (Miami), who writes extensively on cyberlaw issues, operates a blog called Discourse.net and there he has blogged frequently on the Wikileaks case (see for instance here, here, and here) since the injunction issued.  He interprets the injunction as a prior restraint on speech, which is presumptively unconstitutional, though he acknowledges that the law regarding free speech and stole materials may be somewhat unsettled.

Incidentally, the judge in the case, Judge Jeffrey S. White of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, has served as an adjunct professor of law at Boalt Hall since 1979.  He teaches Civil Trial Practice.

This is going to be an interesting case to watch.

Craig Estlinbaum

February 20, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News, Constitutional Law, Interesting Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Welcome to Judge Craig Estlinbaum, Our First Guest Blogger

     I am delighted to welcome Judge (and adjunct law professor) Craig Estlinbaum as our first guest blogger.

     Hon. Craig Estlinbaum is judge of the 130th Judicial Court of Texas and adjunct  professor of law at South Texas College of Law in Houston. He earned his B.S. and M. Agr. degrees from Texas A&M University, and J.D. from South Texas where he graduated with honors and was Editor in Chief of the South Texas Law Review.

     Judge Estlinbaum was elected to the bench in November, 2000. The 130th Judicial District court is a general jurisdiction state trial court. Since 2004, he has taught Damages at South Texas College of Law. South Texas is somewhat unique in that its traditional Remedies elective is divided into a three hour Remedies course and a two hour Damages course.

     Please join me in welcoming Judge Estinbaum. He will start posting shortly.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

February 2, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Adjunct Prof Blog Accused of "Misblawgary"

Simple Justice, a criminal defense blog has accused me of "misblawgary." This criminal defense lawyer criticizes me for raising questions about an adjunct requiring students to post comments on his blog. I have also been criticized by Susan Liebel on her web site Build a Solo Practice. My comments concerned Prof. Randaza over at Legal Satyricon .

I do not mind being criticized. In fact, I think a heathly debate in blogosphere is a good thing. However, I would wish that people would read what I wrote before they criticize. I meant what I said. Requiring a student to post comments on a blog raises issues. Is the Prof doing this to get more hits? Many Prof bloggers get paid from advertising. What about students who cannot afford internet access, do not have computers or have difficulty reading on line. I have had students who fall into each of these categories.

So, what do you think? Should Professors require students to post blog comments online?

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

January 16, 2008 in Adjuncts in the News | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 24, 2007

Interesting Article About Supreme Court's Pending Decision In Hall Street Associates Concerning Whether The Standard Of Judicial Review Of Arbitration Awards Can Be Altered By Contract

In a August 23, 2007 article by Justin Kelly appearing in www.adrworld.com (free trial available)entitled "Supreme Court Urged to Allow for Expanded Review Under FAA", Mr. Kelly does a nice job of laying out the important legal issues that are involved in the pending U.S. Supreme Court case, Hall Street Associates v. Mattel, Inc., ___U.S. ___, No. 06-989, cert granted May 29, 2007.

In this case, the Supreme Court will decide whether the parties by contract can alter the standard of judicial review under the FAA. Stated another way, the Court will have to decide whether freedom of contract principles allow parties to change the statutory standard of judicial review.

Mr. Kelly interviewed me and quotes me as follows:

Mitchell H. Rubinstein, an adjunct professor at St. John's Law School and New York Law School, said the issue of expanded review is "very important to the arbitration field because ADR is being used more often" to resolve a wide range of disputes.

Rubinstein said that if you tinker with the limited judicial review scheme, arbitration could become "a first level court" instead of a final and binding process envisioned in the FAA.

I have previously wrote a law review article about a similar topic which addresses this issue under the FAA, Altering Judicial Review Of Labor Arbitration Awards, 2006 Mich. St. L. Rev. 235 (Summer)and also blogged about Hall Street Associates here.

Mitchell H. Rubinstein 

August 24, 2007 in Adjuncts in the News, Arbitration Law, Current Events, Faculty in the News, Interesting Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)