Professor Seng Receives Honorary Degree from Masaryk University in the Czech Republic

Michael Seng, Professor and Director of the Czech/Slovak Legal Institute at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago, was awarded an honorary law degree from Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. The degree was awarded in recognition of Seng’s work with an exchange program between John Marshall and Masaryk University.

The exchange program between John Marshall and the Faculty of Law at Masaryk University started in 1993 as a result of initiatives through the American Bar Association, which promoted exchanges between law schools in the U.S. and in Eastern and Central Europe after the fall of communism. The purpose of these programs was to promote the rule of law in these former communist countries. The program between John Marshall and Masaryk University is one of the lasting effects of this initiative.

Since 1994, students from Masaryk University in Brno have been given the opportunity to study for one semester at John Marshall. The expenses of the students are paid for by contributions of friends of the program. While the students are in Chicago, they have the opportunity to visit Washington, D.C., where they are introduced to government officials and observe the government in action.

Seng also regularly visits the Czech Republic to meet with faculty and students at Masaryk. On his most recent trip, the university honored him for his work and recognized, if not for him, the exchange program may not exist.

“It is a great honor to be acknowledged and awarded this honorary degree,” Seng said. “The exchange program has been a rewarding and unforgettable experience not only for me, but for both the Czech participants and for the faculty, students and friends whom they meet in the United States. Each of the students who has come to Chicago and returned to the Czech Republic has had a positive impact on the Czech legal profession.”

Students who have completed the program have gone on to become professors of law, judges, government officials, corporate counsel and private attorneys. Many have also received advanced degrees. One student who completed the program even went on to become a Justice on the Supreme Administrative Law Court in Brno.

“It is not just the Czech students who benefit from this arrangement,” Seng said. “John Marshall students also benefit by coming into contact with students from a different culture and legal tradition. The Czech students contribute greatly to the intellectual discussions in the classroom at John Marshall.”

Seng’s exemplary legal career has been a stellar example over the years for many students. Before joining the faculty in 1976, he was an associate attorney at Jenner & Block and later became the directing attorney for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation.

In addition to directing the Czech/Slovak Legal Institute, Seng is also Director of John Marshall’s Fair Housing Legal Support Center and Co-Director of the law school’s Restorative Justice Project.

Other mentions:

University of Notre Dame –

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