Law School Remembers Erika Mozangue Drayton
AUGUST 29, 2013—Erika Mozangue Drayton, deputy chief of the Civil Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Minnesota, died of cancer on Aug. 18 at the age of 45. She was an adjunct professor at the Law School and one of the founders of its Civil Rights Enforcement law clinic. She lived in Brooklyn Park, Minn.
Mozangue graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1990 and received her J.D. from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul in 1993. After working as a prosecutor for Hennepin and Dakota counties in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, she moved to the U.S. Attorney's Office in 2002. During her time there she worked on major cases in both the criminal and civil divisions. She had served as deputy chief of the Civil Division since 2010.
In 2011, staff members from the U.S. Attorney's Office, led by Mozangue, proposed that the Law School add a clinical course in civil rights enforcement to its roster of law clinics, which offer hands-on experience to students and pro-bono legal advice to clients who can't afford representation. Administrators agreed, and since that time, second- and third-year Law School students have had the opportunity to assist the U.S. Attorney's Office in investigating and litigating employment, housing, discrimination and other federal civil-rights enforcement cases.
In an article published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Greg Brooker (’85), chief of the Civil Division and a co-instructor with Mozangue in the law clinic, remembered her as someone who, despite her illness, "forged ahead, wanted to have a full caseload and be totally involved in her profession." Brooker also recalled, "She told me that she initially went to law school because she wanted to make a difference. And boy, what a difference she made."
Mozangue is survived by her husband, Marcus Drayton; stepdaughter Christine Drayton; mother and stepfather Viola and Don Mills; and siblings LaVecchia Mozangue and Tramayne Mills, among others.
Services are planned for Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, from 6-8 p.m. at Edinburgh Clubhouse, 8700 Edinbrook Crossing, Brooklyn Park.