Legal Law

Regulation Faculty Professor Resigns After Utilizing The N-Phrase In Class

The Above the Law archives are — unfortunately — filled with stories of law professors using the full n-word, both in classrooms and less formal settings. The reactions to being called out for their use of the racial slur have varied from refusing to apologize to flouting their academic freedom to use the offensive term to claiming reverse discrimination and at least one professor had a change of heart about the practice, but this is something else entirely.

For what is at least the first time in Above the Law’s coverage of law schools, a professor has voluntarily resigned after using the n-word in class. As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an unnamed adjunct law professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law used the n-word during a class on offensive language on Tuesday, October 13th. Then the next day the professor apologized and announced he was resigning from his position. Law school officials sent around an email detailing the situation:

“Early Tuesday morning, we learned that an adjunct professor at the law school used an offensive racial epithet (specifically, the “n word”) in the course of an academic class discussion on a particular case involving offensive language,” the email stated. “The instructor apologized and expressed his deep regret to the class, and informed the class at 1 p.m. today that he was resigning immediately from teaching at Pitt Law.

“We condemn the use of this word, and we believe that saying this word and words like it, even in an academic context, is deeply hurtful,” the noted added.

Above the Law is generally, firmly, in the camp of identifying which professors think it is acceptable to use the n-word in class, so that future students can insulate themselves from the practice. But it seems, in this case, the professor has decided the best course of action is removing himself from the classroom entirely.

Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, and host of The Jabot podcast. AtL tipsters are the best, so please connect with her. Feel free to email her with any tips, questions, or comments and follow her on Twitter (@Kathryn1).

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