A candidate the Distinguished Achievement Award must have demonstrated in their life outstanding contributions and achievements that reflect Oberlin’s values in a career field.

Photograph of Joey Mogul
Photo courtesy of Joey Mogul

Joey L. Mogul is a partner at the People’s Law Office.  Mogul’s practice represents people who have suffered from police and other governmental torture, abuse, and misconduct in civil rights cases, and defending individuals in criminal and capital cases. Mogul directs the Civil Rights Clinic at DePaul University College of Law.

Mogul has sought justice for Chicago Police Department torture survivors for the last 20 years, successfully representing a number of Burge torture survivors in their criminal post-conviction proceedings and in federal civil rights cases. Mogul served as co-lead counsel in litigation securing legal representation for the Burge torture survivors who remain behind bars in post-conviction proceedings in 2014.

Mogul also successfully presented the cases to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT) in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2006, obtaining a specific finding from the CAT calling for the prosecution of the perpetrators and accountability in these cases in May 2006.

Mogul drafted the original City Council ordinance providing reparations for the Chicago Police (Burge) torture survivors filed in 2013 on behalf of an organization they initiated and cofounded, the Chicago Torture Justice Memorials (CTJM) .

On May 6, 2015, the Chicago City Council unanimously passed unprecedented legislation providing reparations to the Burge torture survivors and their family members, becoming the first municipality to provide systemic redress for racially motivated police violence.

From 2003 through 2012, they represented a class of over 800 people falsely arrested en masse at an anti-Iraq war demonstration in Chicago on March 20, 2003, and successfully argued the case in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, Vodak v. City of Chicago, 639 F.3d 738 (2011). Mogul also co-coordinated the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) mass defense of individuals arrested at this and other antiwar protests, and successfully obtained an acquittal on behalf of the only person arrested and forced to trial on charges stemming from the March 20, 2003 protest.

Mogul frequently represents lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people in criminal court and civil rights proceedings involving police and prison misconduct, abuse, rape, and torture.

Mogul’s activism has included securing organizational support from LGBTQ individuals and organizations for, and spearheading campaigns on behalf of, capital defendants who have been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death based on homophobic, transphobic, and sexist arguments.

Mogul earned a BA in English at Oberlin, and a J.D. from CUNY. They continue to speak widely before both legal and popular audiences on the state’s use of racist, homophobic, and sexist arguments in criminal cases and has devised legal training to counter such efforts.

Mogul is coauthor of Queer (In)Justice: The Criminalization of LGBT People in the United States (Beacon Press 2011).

Speakers and Award Recipients