Eric Schnapper

  • Professor of Law


Phone: (206) 616-3167


B.A. 1962, M.S. 1963, Johns Hopkins University B.Phil. 1965, Oxford University LL.B. 1968, Yale University

Curriculum Vitae

Areas of Expertise

Affirmative Action — Civil Litigation and Procedure — Civil Rights — Labor and Employment Law — U.S. Supreme Court

Recent Courses

LAW A 502 Civil Procedure I
LAW A 548 Civil Rights
LAW A 556 Employment Discrimination

Selected Publications

  • Eric Schnapper, Editorial, New Regime Has to Deal with Past Abuses, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 25, 2009, at B7.
  • Employers, in Barbara T. Lindemann & Paul Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law 1469-1536 (4th ed. BNA Books 2007) (Eric Schnapper is one of six "chairs" for the chapter).

See the full list under the Publications tab below.

Professor Schnapper, who joined the UW law school faculty in 1995, teaches Civil Rights, Civil Procedure and Employment Discrimination. He served for twenty-five years as an assistant counsel to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., specializing in appellate litigation and legislative activities.

In 2010-11 Professor Schnapper argued three U.S. Supreme Court cases, Staub v. Proctor Hospital, Thompson v. North American Stainless, and Borough of Duryea, Pennsylvania v. Guarnieri.

In addition, he has handled more than eighty Supreme Court cases, including Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway v. White (2006) and Ash v. Tyson Foods, Inc. (2006), Kolstad v. ADA (1999), Bogan v. Scott-Harris (1998), Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Oil (1998), Faragher v. Boca Raton (1998), and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth (1998).

Professor Schnapper taught at Columbia Law School from 1979-94, and at Yale Law School in 1990. His articles on constitutional law and civil rights have appeared in law reviews published by Harvard, Columbia, Virginia, Stanford and other law schools. He served in 1981-82 as administrative assistant to Representative Tom Lantos (Calif.). He was the recipient of a Marshall Scholarship for study at Oxford University in 1963-65, served as articles editor of the Yale Law Journal, and clerked for the California Supreme Court.

Peer Reviewed Journals & Law Reviews

  • Eric Schnapper, Review of Labor and Employment Law Decisions from the United States Supreme Court’s 2010-11 Term, 27 A.B.A. J. Lab. & Emp. L. 329-63 (2012).
  • Eric Schnapper, Righting Wrongs Against Immigrant Workers: A Recent Supreme Court Decision Raises Difficult Questions about What Remedies Are Available to Immigrants Who Lack Work Authorization When Federal or State Rights Are Violated, Trial, March 2003, at 46-55.
  • Eric Schnapper, Some of Them Still Don't Get It: Hostile Work Environment Litigation in the Lower Courts, 1999 U. Chi. Legal F. 277-345, reprinted in 49 Def. Couns. J. 675-743 (2000).
  • Eric Schnapper, Statutory Misinterpretations: A Legal Autopsy, 68 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1095-1152 (1993).
  • Eric Schnapper, Judges Against Juries -- Appellate Review of Federal Civil Jury Verdicts, 1989 Wis. L. Rev. 237-357 (1989), reprinted in 8 Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook 333-93 (Steven Saltzman & Barbara M. Wolvovitz eds., Clark Boardman Callaghan 1992).
  • Eric Schnapper, "Libelous" Petitions for Redress of Grievances -- Bad Historiography Makes Worse Law, 74 Iowa L. Rev. 303-49 (1989).
  • Eric Schnapper, Becket at the Bar -- The Conflicting Obligations of the Solicitor General, 21 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 1187-1271 (1988).
  • Eric Schnapper, The Varieties of Numerical Remedies, 39 Stan. L. Rev. 851-915 (1987).
  • Eric Schnapper, Affirmative Action and the Legislative History of the Fourteenth Amendment, 71 Va. L. Rev. 753-98 (1985).
  • Eric Schnapper, Unreasonable Searches and Seizures of Papers, 71 Va. L. Rev. 869-931 (1985).
  • Eric Schnapper, Taking Witherspoon Seriously: The Search for Death-Qualified Jurors, 62 Tex. L. Rev. 977-1084 (1984).
  • Eric Schnapper, Perpetuation of Past Discrimination, 96 Harv. L. Rev. 828-64 (1983).
  • Eric Schnapper, Two Categories of Discriminatory Intent, 17 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 31-59 (1982).
  • Eric Schnapper, Civil Rights Litigation after Monell, 79 Colum. L. Rev. 213-66 (1979).
  • Note, Consumer Legislation and the Poor, 76 Yale L.J. 745-92 (1967).

Book Chapters

  • Employers, in Barbara T. Lindemann & Paul Grossman, Employment Discrimination Law 1469-1536 (4th ed. BNA Books 2007) (Eric Schnapper is one of six "chairs" for the chapter).
  • Eric Schnapper, New White Rights--The Transformation of Affirmative Action Jurisprudence, in Old Rights and New 112-47 (Robert A. Licht ed., AEI Press 1993).
  • Eric Schnapper, Municipal Liability: From Monell to Tuttle to Pembaur, in 2 Nat'l Lawyers Guild, Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook 27-48 (Jules Lobel ed., Clark Boardman 1986), reprinted under a different title in 2 Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney's Fees 1990: Current Developments 53-118 (PLI Litig. & Admin. Practice, Course Handbook Ser. No. 402, 1990).

Book Reviews

  • Eric Schnapper, The Capital Punishment Conundrum, 84 Mich. L. Rev. 715-36 (1986) (reviewing Welsh S. White, Life in the Balance: Procedural Safeguards in Capital Cases (1984)).
  • Eric Schnapper, The Parliament of Wonders, 84 Colum. L. Rev. 1665-88 (1984) (reviewing Commons Debates 1628 (Robert C. Johnson et al. eds., 1977)).

Professional Publications

  • Eric Schnapper, The Supreme Court and Affirmative Action: An Exercise in Judicial Restraint, New Perspectives (Winter 1985).
  • Eric Schnapper, The Myth of Legal Ethics, 64 A.B.A. J. 202-05 (1978).
  • Eric Schnapper, Legal Ethics and the Government Lawyer, 32 Rec. Ass'n B. City N.Y. 649-59 (1977).
  • Eric Schnapper, The Wages of Virtue: Are Federal Judges Overpaid?, Juris Doctor (Spring 1973).

News Media

  • Eric Schnapper, Editorial, New Regime Has to Deal with Past Abuses, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jan. 25, 2009, at B7.
  • Eric Schnapper, Sarah Palin at the Controls, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Oct. 2, 2008, at B7.
  • Eric Schnapper, Report Wages War on the War on Terror, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 9, 2006, at B7.
  • Eric Schnapper, Individual Accounts Could Reduce Shortfall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 8, 2005, at B7.
  • Eric Schnapper, The Problem with Denying Felons the Right to Vote, Seattle Times, Feb. 8, 2005,
  • Eric Schnapper, Paving the Way -- Brown v. Board of Education Helped Forge a New National Consensus Against Discrimination in Many Areas of Life, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, May 16, 2004, at F1.
  • Eric Schnapper, Editorial, Brown Gave Nation Wisdom, Courage to Redefine Itself, L.A. Daily J., May 14, 2004, at 6.
  • Eric Schnapper, Washington Fares Only Slightly Better in Treating Drug Users—A Tale of Two States, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 10, 2001, at D11.
  • Eric Schnapper, A Puzzle for Voters, a Lawyer's Delight, Seattle Times, Oct. 22, 1998,
  • Eric Schnapper, Affirmative Ambiguity, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, June 7, 1998, at E1.
  • Eric Schnapper, Advocates Deterred by Fee Issues: Under Current Counsel-Fee Provisions, Many Discrimination Victims Are Effectively Kept from Getting Adequate Legal Representation, Nat'l L. J., March 18, 1994, at C1.
  • Eric Schnapper, Bork Defeat Finally Ends Right Wing Threat to Court, New Haven Register (Oct. 26, 1987).
  • Eric Schnapper, Injudicious Planning, The New Journal, (Oct 16, 1987).
  • Eric Schnapper, Reagan Court Nominee A "Walking Amendment," Memphis Tennessean (Aug. 10, 1987).

  • Speaker, "Plenary Session: Welcome, Award Presentations and Supreme Court Review", 5th Annual Labor & Employment Law Conference, American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law (November 3, 2011)
  • Speaker, Third Annual Employment Practices Liability Seminar, University of Washington (October 13, 2011)
  • "October oral argument in Crawford", University of Washington Alumni (October 1, 2008)
  • "Retaliation Law", 2008 Convention, National Employment Lawyers Association (June 1, 2008)
  • "Current Developments in Employment Law", Practising Law Institute and American Law Institute/American Bar Association (January 1, 2008)
  • "Supreme Court Argument", North Carolina/South Carolina Bar Associations, Employment Section (January 1, 2008)
  • "Appellate Litigation", American Trial Lawyers Association, Employment Section (July 1, 2006)
  • "Employment Law Developments in the Supreme Court", National Employees Lawyers Association (June 1, 2006)
  • "Issues in Burlington Northern v. White", Washington Employees Lawyers Association (February 1, 2006)
  • "Individual Immunities in Civil Rights Litigation", Conference of Pro Se Law Clerks, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (April 1, 1993)
  • "Lecture on the Significance of the 1991 Civil Rights Act for the Principles of Statutory Construction, Symposium on the Civil Rights Act of 1991, Notre Dame Law School, February, 1993.", (February 1, 1993)
  • "Symposium, "Old Rights and New", American Enterprise Institute, Washington, D.C., Spring 1991.", (April 1, 1991)
  • "PLI Conferences, "Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation and Attorneys' Fees", New York City, 1990 and prior years.", (January 1, 1990)