Meet the Faculty: Michael Seigel
View on the Profession
“The most difficult decisions that lawyers make involve ethical questions: they are the ones that keep you up at night and ultimately define who you are. Students need to be prepared to face these defining moments and to decide in advance that they will choose the right — if not always the easiest — path. “There’s more to life than making money. You spend far too much time in life at work to be unhappy when you’re there. Unfortunately, surveys indicate that a lot of lawyers are unhappy, meaning that they’ve made some wrong choices along the way. I urge students to keep life in perspective as they make professional choices. Family, friends, and dreams are as important as winning the next case or making the next deal.”
J.D., Harvard Law School (magna cum laude): Editor, Harvard Law Review and Harvard Law Record; Mediator, Small Claims Court; Advisor, First Year Ames Moot Court Competition. A.B., Princeton University (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa). Professor Seigel joined UF’s College of Law in 1990. He took a leave of absence from 1995-99 to serve as the First Assistant United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa, in Attorney General Janet Reno’s Justice Department. He served as the college’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs 2000-02. Earlier in his career, he served as a Special Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Philadelphia Organized Crime Strike Force; an Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania; judicial law clerk to the Honorable Edward R. Becker, United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; summer law clerk to Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe, San Francisco, and Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley, Philadelphia; and intern with Senator Bill Bradley, Washington, D.C.
What You May Not Know
Seigel sang in the Princeton glee club and helped put himself through college by working first as a deli-man, cutting meat behind the counter, and then graduating to short order cook. During a sabbatical in Fall 2003, he finished writing a mystery novel set in a fictitious Tampa law school, in which several literary agents have shown interest. Seigel lives in Tampa and Gainesville. His wife, academic pediatrician Sharon Dabrow, has been his best friend since they were 12-years-old, though they did not date until college. They have two daughters: Nicole, 14, who sings; and Jessica, 11, who studies dance. Recently, he bought a sewing machine to help Jessica learn how to sew and quilt. Seigel volunteers at his children’s schools and plays an active role in his synagogue. He enjoys traveling with his family, and when at home in Tampa, he does the cooking.