Katie Eyer, a Rutgers Law School associate professor, has been named one of this year’s recipients of the Society of American Law Teachers’ Junior Faculty Teaching Award.
An anti-discrimination law scholar and litigator, Eyer joined Rutgers Law in 2012. Among the courses she teaches are Constitutional Law; Employment Discrimination; Sexuality, Gender Identity, and the Law; and Disability Law. Prior to joining academia, Eyer litigated and won precedent-setting court cases protecting the legal rights of LGBT and disabled employees.
“This award is a major, and richly deserved, recognition of Professor Eyer’s influence on her students and the legal profession,” says Michael Cahill, co-dean of Rutgers Law School. “Her teaching greatly enhances our students’ awareness and understanding of LGBT and employment rights, and is helping them become lawyers who will do groundbreaking and meaningful work.”
Eyer is a prolific and successful scholar, writing in the fields of constitutional law and employment discrimination. Her work, which draws on historical materials to elucidate contemporary anti-discrimination law debates, has been recognized nationally as offering novel perspectives on even well-worn areas of study, such as constitutional colorblindness. Eyer’s most recent work has focused on illuminating the ways that contemporary constitutional accounts mischaracterize the actual methods by which social movements generate pathways to constitutional change.
Eyer is regularly praised by her students for her passionate and supportive approach to teaching equality law, and mentors many students interested in career paths in public interest and civil rights. Since joining Rutgers Law School, she has been highly engaged with broader institutional efforts to support those who wish to pursue careers in public interest and civil rights law, including playing an important role in the launching of a new Social Justice Scholars program for those interested in social justice career paths.
She continues to be actively involved in her former area of practice, LGBT employment rights, regularly lecturing and publishing practice-oriented guidance materials, as well as consulting with individual attorneys bringing LGBT employment discrimination claims. Earlier this year, Eyer took a leading role in advocating for greater coverage of LGBT employees in Pennsylvania under Pennsylvania’s sex discrimination provisions, in response to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission’s proposed guidance on the subject. She recently published an issue brief with the American Constitution Society, in which she lays out the arguments for why sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination should be considered sex discrimination under established principles of anti-discrimination law.
Eyer, of Philadelphia, earned her law degree in 2004 from Yale University, and received her undergraduate degree from Columbia University in 1999.
Along with fellow award recipient Lua Yuille of the University of Kansas School of Law, Eyer will be honored at the Society of American Law Teachers’ annual awards celebration in San Diego in January.