John S. Elson,
Emeritus Professor of Law, Northwestern; former NU faculty government chair; scholarship & litigation in education & civil right law.
John S. Elson, Emeritus Professor of Law, has been a member of the Northwestern Law faculty since 1976 and retired from full-time law teaching in December, 2014. He has taught courses in clinical practice, civil rights litigation, civil procedure, and trial practice. His major areas of interest in research and litigation have been education, civil rights, and attorney-client relations. He has published widely in the fields of education and civil rights and has litigated many law reform cases in the areas of divorce law, education and civil rights, including three cases he argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. He has served in many roles on Northwestern University’s faculty government, including Chair of its General Faculty Committee. With respect to his bar association activities, he served on both the Accreditation and Bar Admissions Committees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education, has served on 20 of the Sections’ law school site inspection teams and has served as Chair of the Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the Chicago Council of Lawyers from 1998 to 2007. For the Association of American Law Schools, Professor Elson has served on its Professional Development Committee, as Chair of its Teaching Methods Section, as Chair of its Skills Training Committee and on the Executive Committee of its Section on Clinical Education. Among his various awards, Professor Elson received the William Pincus Award in 2008 from the AALS’s Clinical Section that is given to law teachers who have “demonstrated excellence in service, scholarship, program design and implementation and other activities beneficial to clinical education or to the advancement of justice,” and the Distinguished Public Service Award by the Public Interest Law Initiative, (PILI), in 1997. Professor Elson has an AB from Harvard University and JD and MA degrees from the University of Chicago.