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Law School to Pay $750,000 Settlement Over Discrimination Case

The University of Idaho will settle a discrimination case with a former law professor for $750,000 after more than four years of litigation.

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Idaho approved the settlement between plaintiff Shaakirrah Sanders, who is Black, and the law school. Sanders sued the University of Idaho and former law dean Mark Adams in June 2019 alleging that she was passed over for leadership roles and denied raises that were instead offered to white male colleagues, Reuters reports.

In addition to a $750,000 payment for Sanders’ attorney’s fee and back wages, the settlement calls on the law school to seek a prohibition on the video or audio recording of any law students, faculty, or staff without obtaining their explicit consent.

“I feel tired from the fight, but I feel proud of myself that I stood up,” Sanders tells Reuters.


Sanders, who left Idaho Law in July, currently serves as the associate dean for antiracism and critical pedagogy at Penn State Dickinson School of Law. She claims that Idaho law school administrators retaliated against her over her after she raised concerns about pay disparities and discrimination.

In her lawsuit, Sanders claimed that Adams increased her course load without offering extra compensation and assigned coveted first-year courses to less-experienced white faculty members. She also claimed that Adams postponed her sabbatical by a year. Adams has denied all of Sanders’ allegations against him.

The case proceeded to trial in October 2022 in federal court, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Sanders says she agreed to a settlement to avoid the expense and emotional toll of a second trial.

Sources: Reuters, SANDERS v. UI et al.

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