E. Gary Spitko

Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good and Professor of Law

Professor E. Gary Spitko is the Presidential Professor of Ethics and the Common Good and Professor of Law at the Santa Clara University School of Law. He has authored more than thirty publications in the areas of arbitration, employment law, donative transfers, and family law. He is the author of “Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations” (University of Pennsylvania Press) which explores how employment discrimination has been used to reinforce social understandings about the inferior nature of gay people by disassociating gay people from certain positive qualities and values while strengthening the association between these qualities and values and the heterosexual majority and its institutions. Professor Spitko’s scholarship has appeared in numerous leading law reviews, including the Cornell Law Review, the Washington University Law Review, the U.C. Davis Law Review (twice), the Florida Law Review (twice), the Georgia Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Arizona Law Review (twice), the Washington and Lee Law Review, and the University of Colorado Law Review, among others. In 2017, Santa Clara University named Professor Spitko the recipient of its University Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship, an honor given annually to only one faculty member across the university.

Professor Spitko previously served as the Law School’s Associate Dean for Research (2019-2021) and as the Faculty Director of the Law School’s Conflict Resolution Program (2017-2020). In 2016, he was elected an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He is a past Chair of the AALS Section on Donative Transfers and previously served on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Dispute Resolution. Professor Spitko serves as an arbitrator on the employment roster of the American Arbitration Association and as a mediator of employment disputes for the California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District .

Professor Spitko earned his A.B., with distinction in all subjects, from Cornell University and his J.D., with high honors, from the Duke University School of Law, where he was elected to Order of the Coif. While a law student at Duke, he served as an editor of the Duke Law Journal and as the founding executive editor of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Gerald Bard Tjoflat, who was then Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. He practiced law for several years as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., and at Paul Hastings in Atlanta, Georgia where his practice focused exclusively on employment law. Prior to joining the Santa Clara University School of Law faculty in 2002, Professor Spitko was an assistant professor and then an associate professor at the Indiana University McKinney School of Law. He also has taught as a visiting professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law and the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco.


J.D., with high honors, Order of the Coif, Duke University School of Law, 1991

A.B., with distinction in all subjects, Cornell University, 1987

Areas of Specialization

Arbitration, Employment Law,  Employment Discrimination, and Donative Transfers

Affiliations and Honors

Mediator, California Court of Appeal for the Sixth Appellate District, 2023-present

Faculty Scholar, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, (2017-present)

Academic Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (elected 2016)

Executive Committee, Section on Dispute Resolution, Association of American Law Schools, 2015-2018

Arbitrator, American Arbitration Association (Roster of Neutrals for employment law cases), 2011-present

Director, Santa Clara Law Study Abroad Program in Oxford, U.K., 2016; Sydney, Australia, 2006-07

Chair (2006), Program Chair (2005), Executive Committee (2003-08), Section on Donative Transfers, Association of American Law Schools

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