Michael J. Steinberg has served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan since 1997 and is responsible for overseeing all litigation taken on by the ACLU throughout the state. Steinberg earned a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University in 1983 and is a 1989 cum laude graduate of Wayne State University Law School. Upon graduation, he clerked for the Hon. Marilyn Kelly on the Michigan Court of Appeals. He then established his own private practice in Ann Arbor where he specialized in civil rights litigation and civil and criminal appeals. Among his many private cases, Steinberg successfully challenged the Ann Arbor Police Department’s practice of coercing African American men into giving blood for DNA testing during the Ann Arbor serial rapist investigation.
Since joining the staff of the ACLU, Steinberg has worked on numerous high impact, high profile cases on a wide range of civil liberties issues including: freedom of speech and expression, post 9-11 issues, racial justice, LGBT rights, police misconduct, women’s rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, religious freedom, right to counsel and prisoner rights. Steinberg is a former high school teacher and coach, a former President of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and a founding board member of Michigan Peace Action. He was selected by Harvard Law School as a public interest fellow for the 2007-08 academic year.
In addition to his ACLU work, Steinberg teaches public interest litigation and is a Public Interest/Public Service Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School. He is also the founding director of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Clinic at Wayne State University Law School.