Michael J. Steinberg has served as the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan since 1997. He oversees all ACLU litigation throughout the state. He has litigated dozens of high-impact, high-profile cases on a wide range of civil liberties issues including: freedom of speech and expression, racial justice, LGBT rights, post 9/11 issues, police misconduct, women's rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, religious freedom, right to counsel, prisoner rights, and the rights of the poor. Five cases on which he worked have reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
Steinberg is the founding director of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Clinic at Wayne State University Law School, where he also has served as an adjunct public interest professor. He often speaks on civil liberties issues at universities and conferences across the country and is frequently interviewed by local and national media. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including Harvard Law School's Wasserstein Public Interest Fellowship and Wayne State University Law School's Treasure of Detroit Award.
Steinberg earned a BA with honors from Wesleyan University in 1983 and graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from Wayne State Law School in 1989. Following law school, he clerked for the Hon. Marilyn Kelly on the Michigan Court of Appeals. Before joining the ACLU staff, he worked in private practice for seven years, specializing in civil rights litigation and civil and criminal appeals. Steinberg is a former high school teacher and coach, community organizer, and president of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. He is also a founding board member of Michigan Peace Action and currently serves on the board of the Michigan Coalition for Human Rights.