John S. Elson

Professor of Law Emeritus
Director Emeritus of the Civil Litigation Center


John S. Elson, Professor of Law Emeritus, has been a member of the Northwestern faculty since 1976. 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.

View Full Bio

Areas of Expertise

  • Dispute Resolution
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Civil Procedure
  • Negotiation

Selected Publications

  • The Case Against Collaborative Learning in the First-Year Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis Course, 13 Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research And Writing 136-144 (2005).
  • The Governmental Maintenance of the Privileges of Legal Academia: A Case Study in Classic Rent-Seeking and a Challenge to our Democratic Ideology, 15 St. John's Journal of Legal Commentary 269-294 (2001).

View More Publications


  • AB, Harvard University
  • MA, University of Chicago
  • JD, University of Chicago

Prior Appointments

  • Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Harry B. Reese Teaching Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Associate Professor of Law, 1976-1979, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law, 1975-1976, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Staff Attorney-Clinical Fellow, 1971-1975, Mandel Legal Clinic, University of Chicago
  • Attorney, 1970-1971, Appeals and Review Division, Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago
  • Attorney, 1968-1970, Legislative Services Branch, National Institute of Mental Health

Back to Faculty