In Memoriam: Stephen G. Seliger

In Memoriam: Stephen G. Seliger

Steve Seliger

Steve Seliger, a civil rights attorney and an instructor in Northwestern’s School of Education and Social Policy, passed away on May 13. Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.

For the past six years, Seliger has been teaching an undergraduate course at SESP entitled Law and Social Policy. He was teaching the social policy class — addressing the issues a civil rights litigator faces in both prosecuting and defending civil rights lawsuits — during spring quarter and was planning to teach a new course on disability law next year.

A practicing Chicago attorney, Seliger was able to bring his real-world experience in law to the classroom to enrich students’ learning. He enlightened students with his extensive legal knowledge and enlivened classes with practical examples.

Beginning in 1978, Seliger had maintained a law practice specializing in employment and civil rights litigation with an emphasis on class actions. For example, Seliger was the lead attorney who successfully represented U.S. air marshals in 2011.

At the same time, Seliger dedicated himself to education. In addition to his teaching at SESP, from 2003 to 2010 he was an adjunct professor at Northwestern Law School, and from 2004 to 2007 he taught a civil rights course at DePaul College of Law. In addition, he was a lecturer in civil rights law for the Illinois Continuing Legal Education program.

In 1992, Seliger was named one of the top plaintiffs' employment lawyers in the United States by the National Law Journal. Earlier, in 1980 and 1981 he served as general counsel for a state agency, the Illinois Commission on Delinquency Prevention. From 1975 to 1978 he served as an associate at Cotton, Watt, Jones, King & Bowlus, a Chicago labor and litigation firm. From 1973 to 1975, he was an attorney with the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, representing poor clients in individual and class cases in the area of welfare, public housing, consumer protection and prison law.

Seliger graduated from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1969. He earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Pennsylvania in 1966.

Steve had a great deal of enthusiasm for teaching in SESP, engaging students in interesting and thought-provoking discussions of Supreme Court legislation in the area of civil rights,” says Miriam Sherin, director of undergraduate education at SESP. "He will be greatly missed."

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 5/14/14