K. Gary Sebelius was born and raised in Norton, Kansas. In 1971, he graduated from Kansas State University, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in pre-law/political science. He earned his juris doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., in 1974. Prior to his appointment as a magistrate judge in 2003, he was a partner in the Topeka law firm, then known as Wright, Henson, Somers, Sebelius, Clark & Baker, LLP. His law practice concentrated in the areas of employment, civil rights, and civil litigation. He acted as trial and appellate counsel for the Topeka Public Schools in the desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education (Brown III), from reactivation of the case in 1979 until unitary status was achieved in 1999, which resulted in the federal court relinquishing jurisdiction over the school district.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Sebelius was listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Who’s Who in American Law. He is a past president of the Kansas Legal Services Corporation which provides legal representation to economically disadvantaged Kansas citizens in civil cases. He is also a past president of the employment law section of the Kansas Bar Association.
Judge Sebelius is a member of the Sam A. Crow American Inn of Court, the American Bar Association, the Kansas Bar Association, the Topeka Bar Association, and the Federal Magistrate Judges Association. He is a fellow of the Kansas Bar Foundation and the American Bar Foundation. He has served on the board of directors of several state and community non-profit organizations.