Michael J. Steinberg, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, will join the Michigan Law faculty this fall as a professor from practice. Steinberg will start the Civil Rights Litigation Initiative, which will provide students with the opportunity to advance social justice by litigating civil rights cases. He also will teach courses in civil rights and civil liberties law.
Steinberg has served as the legal director of the ACLU of Michigan since 1997, where he is responsible for overseeing all litigation taken on by the ACLU throughout the state. He has worked on numerous high-impact, cutting-edge cases on a wide range of civil liberties issues including: racial justice, freedom of speech and expression, post 9-11 issues, police misconduct, immigrant rights, LGBT rights, women's rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, religious freedom, right to counsel, and prisoner rights. Seven cases on which he worked reached the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to his ACLU work, Steinberg has been an adjunct member of the Michigan Law faculty since 2013.
Michele Coleman Mayes, BA '71, JD '74, will deliver Michigan Law's Senior Day address on Friday, May 10. She is the vice president, general counsel, and secretary of The New York Public Library, one of the largest public libraries in the United States, and also serves as its chief legal officer.
Mayes—who is described as a "a trailblazer, highly regarded in-house counsel, and dedicated alumna" by Michigan Law Dean and Nippon Life Professor of Law Mark D. West—will speak to graduates at 4 p.m. in Hill Auditorium.
"It is an honor to be invited to speak at Senior Day. I certainly could not have anticipated such an invitation when I left the Law School," Mayes said. "On the other hand, why not? My Michigan Law education prepared me to travel many roads—some were paved, some were not, but whichever the case, I kept moving forward. Now, my journey is taking me back home. I am looking forward to the opportunity to share reflections and lessons, but more importantly, to remind these talented graduates to keep moving forward even when the path is unpaved."
Throughout their careers, Carrie Garcia Palmer, BA '94, JD '97, and Kristen Danyluk, '04, have experienced a number of inflection points, including moving from outside counsel to in-house counsel. Though the pair discussed a wide range of topics, "don’t be afraid to take a leap" was at the heart of the message they shared with Michigan Law students who attended the second Leading Women talk sponsored by Latham & Watkins—and moderated by Latham Partner and Michigan Law Professor Steven P. Croley—to profile Michigan Law alumnae working as leaders in business.
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