Thanks to a ruling by the same court last week, Thomka's lawyer will get paid. Barring a successful appeal, MIAA must pay over $19,000 in attorneys fees to Thomka's family. Attorneys fee awards are important equalizers in discrimination cases like this one, where the discrimination, while actual and unlawful, does not cause a harm that can be remedied with money damages. Attorneys fees operate to deter institutions from engaging in unlawful discrimination, and they make it a little easier for civil rights plaintiffs' lawyers to stay in business. (Thomka's lawyer had not billed her family for his legal services.)
Thomka graduates this week and will play golf at Elon College in North Carolina next year.