Legal Services of the AAUP

The National Office of the AAUP offers a variety of legal services to individual faculty members, chapters and conferences. In addition, the legal staff, in consultation withthe General Counsel and the Committee on Litigation, develops Association positions on carious issues before the courts, issues which are significant to higher education or which may involve Association principles.

A member of the Association serves as General Counsel for the AAUP and a counsel and an associate counsel are based in the national office.

The legal staff responds to inquiries from individual faculty members about legal cases involving such matters as promotion, tenure, academic freedom, discrimination, denial of tenure, grievances, etc. The office can procide briefs of cases with similar circumstances and issues. The legal staff may also advise as to whether or not a case is worth pursuing through legal channels.

The office maintains a file of lawyers having expertise in higher education litigation. The AAUP is willing to suggest names of counsel within the faculty member’s geographical area. Becuase it is vital to keep this file as current as possible, field staff are encouraged to send names, addresses, telephone numbers and any other pertinent information about lawyers having expertise inhigher education law to the national office.

Chapters and conferences may obtain legal advice from the national office on questions which concern them.

The Committee on Litigation, composed of the chairpersons of Committees A, N, and W plus several lawyers, works with the legal staff to determine in which cases the Association may wish to intervene with amicus briefs and reviews the briefs before they are filed. Ordinarily, the AAUP intervenes only at the appellate level. Amicus briefs filed by the AAUP have helped to establish precedent on a variety of issues. Arguments presented in the AAUP briefs are often discussed in subsequent law review articles which help shape future legal opinion.

Amicus briefs and reports on current and pending cases are published from time to time in Academe. Field staff members should familarize themselves with these cases.