Paul J. Spiegelman
A.B., Columbia College
Professor Spiegelman came to legal education after a distinguished career in private practice where he was a partner in Specter & Spiegelman, a firm specializing in litigation of class action employment discrimination cases throughout the nation. He successfully represented clients in sixteen different federal district courts from Atlanta, Georgia to Buffalo, New York, to Indianapolis, Indiana to San Francisco and Los Angeles, California; and won appeals in five different federal circuit courts of appeal (including serving as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan defending the state’s affirmative action plan in the Sixth Circuit). He also won a unanimous reversal of the Tenth Circuit by the United States Supreme Court in Alexander v. Gardner-Denver Co. 415 U.S. 36 (1974).
Professor Spiegelman vowed that when he entered legal education, no student of his would ever leave law school as unprepared for the actual practice of law as his Columbia education had left him. He wrote in legal journals, particularly the Journal of Legal Education, and spoke at conferences of legal educators about the need for law schools to become lawyering schools, focusing on the actual tasks lawyers do rather than exclusively on the rules and reasoning courts apply as traditional legal education does. His teaching has embodied that lawyering approach. He has taught innovative courses in civil procedure, evidence, negotiation theory and skills, pretrial procedure, legal analysis, and law and medicine and employment discrimination law. In every one of those courses, Professor Spiegelman has taught the course by placing students in the role of a lawyer representing a client. Prior to coming to Thomas Jefferson, Professor Spiegelman taught as a full-time faculty member at SUNY Buffalo Law School and California Western School of Law, a Visiting Professor at University of Utah School of Law, a Clinical Professor at Wayne State University School of Law and an adjunct faculty member at Hastings School of Law and Golden Gate School of Law.
Professor Spiegelman has continued to keep his hand in practice, representing death row inmates in appeals to the California Supreme Court and was selected as a California Lawyer of the year in 1998 for his successful nine-year effort to overturn the conviction and death sentence of Shawn Hill. The California Supreme Court’s unanimous reversal of Hill’s conviction broke new ground in disciplining prosecutorial misconduct, by deeming it (in combination with other errors) a due process violation, chastising the prosecutor by name 22 times in its opinion, and recommending the prosecutor for bar discipline.
Currently, he serves as Director of Advocacy and ADR Programs, supervising the Moot Court Society and ADR Society in their preparation for lawyering tasks: representing clients in appeals, negotiations, and mediations. He also serves as a Board Member of the National Sports Law Negotiation Competition hosted annually by TJSL. His work with Moot Court and ADR teams fits right in with his career-long focus on lawyering – students on these teams do nothing but prepare and compete in the role of lawyer representing clients.
Courses include: Negotiation Theory and Skills, Pretrial Preparation, Advanced Appellate Advocacy Workshop, Moot Court, ADR Team, Representing Clients in Mediation.