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Joel L. Selig
Professor Emeritus of Law
A.B., Harvard (1965), cum laude
J.D., Harvard (1968), cum laude and Board of Editors of Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review
Phone (307) 766-5120
Office 219 College of Law
Joel L. Selig joined the faculty of the University of Wyoming College of Law in 1983 after fifteen years as a litigator in federal district courts and courts of appeals throughout the United States. He served two tours of duty in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.: as an attorney in the Division's Employment Section from 1969 to 1973, litigating cases brought to enforce federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination; and from 1977 to 1983 as an attorney, deputy section chief, and senior trial attorney in the Division's Appellate Section, Housing and Credit Section, General Litigation Section, and Federal Enforcement Section, litigating or supervising litigation to enforce federal laws regarding school desegregation, housing discrimination, employment discrimination, and voting discrimination. Between these tours of duty at the Department of Justice, Selig served from 1973 to 1977 as Attorney-Director of the Government Employment Discrimination Project of the national office of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Washington, D.C., litigating employment discrimination cases against state and local governments and against the federal government, including a case which he argued in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also served in 1969 as an attorney at the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, Boston, Mass.
Prof. Selig was the College of Law's first Centennial Distinguished Professor of Law, a three-year endowed professorship which he held from 1992 to 1995. He has received the Potter Law Club - Student Bar Association Outstanding Faculty Award on six occasions, as well as the U S West Excellence in Education Award, and the University of Wyoming's John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award. He has published in the Land and Water Law Review and the Wyoming Law Review, and in the U. C. Davis Law Review, the University of Illinois Law Review, the Indiana Law Journal, the Temple Law Review, and the Journal of Law & Politics. His writings involve a variety of subjects including Fair Housing Act enforcement; the Reagan Justice Department and civil rights; the selection of Supreme Court justices; affirmative action in employment; changing the Justice Department's position in pending litigation; the contrasting jurisprudential approaches of Robert H. Bork and Archibald Cox; race in America; politics and law enforcement; the Wyoming Rules of Civil Procedure; a book review of a biography of Archibald Cox, with accompanying commentary and appreciation; and affirmative action in college and law school student admissions.
Receiving his B.A. cum laude in 1965 from Harvard College, Selig went on to complete his J.D. cum laude in 1968 from Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. He was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1968, the District of Columbia Bar in 1976, and the bars of a number of federal district courts and courts of appeals and of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Professor Selig taught the required courses in Civil Procedure I and II and in Evidence and the elective course in Conflict of Laws for 25 years. Beginning in the 2008-09 academic year, he taught the required course in Evidence and the elective course in Conflict of Laws. He retired in the spring of 2011. He remains an insufferable opera fanatic.