2014 – Michael P. Seng
The career of Professor Michael Seng includes stints as a clerk for a United States District Court, an associate at Jenner & Block, and an attorney for Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance. His most enduring legacy, however, is as a Professor at The John Marshall Law School, where for nearly 40 years he has focused on discrimination in housing.
Professor Seng has trained generations of John Marshall law students in fair housing law. His instruction and example have shaped careers in every sector of the legal community. Going far beyond classroom instruction, Professor Seng co-founded the John Marshall Fair Housing and Support Center in 1991 and founded John Marshall’s Fair Housing Legal Clinic one year later, the latter of which was the first law school clinic in the United States to handle solely issues involving housing discrimination. Professor Seng’s work combating housing discrimination includes organizing local and national training programs, giving testimony regarding legislation and serving as an expert witness, among other activities.
Professor Seng’s influence extends beyond the United States, including twice being recognized by the Fulbright program with teaching posts in Nigeria and the Czech Republic. Beginning in 1993, Professor Seng organized delegations of lawyers and judges to create a legal exchange that allowed the Czech and Slovak Republics to bring American attorneys to Europe to assist the bar as the countries rebuilt their legal systems after the fall of Communism. The program eventually became the Czech/Slovak Legal Institute and has produced a cadre of lawyers and judges who are distinguishing themselves in private practice, the courts and in positions of trust throughout the Czech Republic.
Professor Seng has inspired countless attorneys both in Chicago and abroad to devote their careers to public service and the highest ideals of the profession. His instruction and leadership have given these attorneys the skills and experiences to become excellent advocates and leaders in a multitude of good causes.