Interview 27: Dan Siegel

danseigel3On this edition attorney Dan Siegel discusses his life’s work, from his early years as a civil rights and antiwar activist, to his legal career as a nationally-recognized labor law expert defending university professors and athletic coaches under fire from their administrations.

A 1970 graduate of UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, Siegel was initially denied entry to the California Bar because of his free speech and antiwar activism. After successfully contesting this decision before California’s Supreme Court, he helped establish the National Lawyers Guild Military Law Project in Southeast Asia. In 1973 Siegel returned to the Bay Area to begin a community law collective representing workers and labor unions in employment discrimination, labor law, and civil rights litigation.

One of Siegel’s most notable cases involved the successful representation of UC Berkeley Professor Ignacio Chapela. Chapela is a microbial biologist whose work addressed potential threats posed by GMO technology. The faculty member’s outspokenness on the UC’s close ties to the biotech industry contributed to his denial of tenure.

In 2014 Siegel ran for Mayor of Oakland, coming in 4th place out of a field of almost 20 candidates.


Mr. Siegel’s professional site: