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Sandra F. Sperino

Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor of Law


BA, Texas Tech University
MS, University of Illinois
JD, University of Illinois

Areas of Interest

  • Civil Procedure
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Torts

Associate Dean of Faculty and Professor Sperino teaches in the areas of civil procedure, torts, and employment law. In 2013, she received the Goldman Prize for Excellence in Teaching.

Professor Sperino’s scholarship focuses on employment discrimination, and her recent work focuses on the intersection of tort and discrimination law. She is the author of several books: Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (w/ Thomas) (Oxford University Press forthcoming 2017) and Employment Discrimination: Cases and Materials (w/ Grover & Gonzalez) (CAP 2013), an employment discrimination casebook.  In 2017, she will join West’s hornbook Federal Discrimination Law and West’s Federal Discrimination in a Nutshell.  Her article, The Tort Label, was selected for the Harvard/Stanford/Yale Faculty Forum.  Her recent articles are published in the Michigan Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, the George Mason Law Review, and the Notre Dame Law Review

In 2015, Professor Sperino received the Harold C. Schott Award for Scholarship. She has served as Chair for the AALS Section on Employment Discrimination Law and is a contributing editor to several employment law books published by the American Bar Association.

Prior to joining the UC Law faculty, she served on the faculty at Temple University Beasley School of Law. She also was a visiting professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and the St. Louis University School of Law.

Professor Sperino was in private practice as an attorney for the litigation and labor and employment departments at Lewis, Rice & Fingersh in St. Louis. There she co-authored the successful petition for writ of certiorari and the brief argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Sell.

Professor Sperino received her J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the University of Illinois Law Review, and a M.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois.  After law school, she clerked for the Hon. Donald J. Stohr of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri.


  • Unequal: How America’s Courts Undermine Discrimination Law (w/ Thomas) (Oxford Univ. Press forthcoming 2016).
  • Federal Discrimination Law in a Nutshell (w/ Player) (West forthcoming 2017).
  • West’s Hornbook, Federal Discrimination Law (w/ Turner) (forthcoming 2017).
  • Justice Kennedy’s Big New Idea, ___ Boston L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2016).
  • Retaliation and the Reasonable Person, 67 Fla. L. Rev. 2031 (2015).
  • The Civil Rights Restatement, ___ DePaul L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2016) (invited submission for Clifford Symposium).
  • Let’s Pretend Title VII is a Tort, ___ Ohio St. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2014).
  • The Tort Label, ___ Fla. L. Rev. ___ (forthcoming 2014).
  • Discrimination Statutes, the Common Law and Proximate Cause, 2013 U. Ill. L. Rev. 1 (2013) (lead article)
  • Statutory Proximate Cause, 88 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1199 (2013).
  • Revitalizing State Discrimination Law, 20 George Mason L. Rev. 545 (Winter 2013).
  • Rethinking Discrimination Law, 110 Mich. L. Rev. 69 (2011).
  • Employment Discrimination: Cases and Materials, Carolina Academic Press (co-authored with Susan Grover and Jarod Gonzalez) (2010).
  • A Modern Theory of Direct Corporate Liability for Title VII, 61 Ala. L. Rev. 773 (2010).
  • Judicial Preemption of Punitive Damages, 78 U. Cin. L. Rev. 227 (2009).
  • The "Disappearing" Dilemma: Why Agency Principles Should Now Take Center Stage in Retaliation Cases, 57 Kan. L. Rev. 157 (2008).
  • Complying with Export Laws without Importing Discrimination Liability: An Attempt to Integrate Employment Discrimination Law with Deemed Export Requirements, 52 St. Louis University Law Journal 375 (Winter 2007-08).
  • Recreating Diversity in Employment Law by Debunking the Myth of the McDonnell-Douglas Monolith, 44 Houston L. Rev. 349 (2007).
  • The Sky Remains Intact: Why Allowing Subgroup Evidence is Consistent with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 90 Marquette L. Rev. 227 (2006).
  • Flying Without A Statutory Basis: Why McDonnell-Douglas Is Not Justified By Any Statutory Construction Methodology, 43 Houston L. Rev. 743 (2006)
  • Under Construction: Questioning Whether Statutory Construction Principles Justify Individual Liability Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, 71 Mo. L. Rev. 71 (2006).
  • Disparate Impact or No Impact? The Future of Non-Intentional Discrimination Claims Brought by the Elderly, 13 Elder L.J. 339 (University of Illinois 2005).
  • Chaos Theory: The Unintended Consequences of Expanding Individual Liability Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, Emp. Rights & Empl. Pol’y J., Vol. 9, Issue 2 (2005) (peer-reviewed journal).


  • Diminishing Retaliation Liability (w/ Alex Long), NYU Law Review Online (2013).
  • Direct Employer Liability for Punitive Damages, A Response to Joseph Seiner’s Article, Punitive Damages, Due Process and Employment Discrimination, 97 Iowa L. Rev. Bull. 24, 33 (2012).
  • Framing Discrimination Law, Jurist (Fall 2011).
  • The New Calculus of Punitive Damages for Employment Discrimination Cases, 62 Okla. L. Rev. 701 (2010).
  • Diminishing Deference: Learning Lessons from Recent Congressional Rejection of the Supreme Court’s Interpretation of Discrimination Statutes, 33 Rutgers L. Rec. 40 (2009).