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Glen Freeman Mowrer was born in the Willowbrook area of Los Angeles and raised and educated in south central LA. He attended the University of Southern California as a scholarship student, receiving his B.A. with honors in United States History.
While at USC he led the fight to open the campus to outside speakers, started a student ACLU chapter and spoke out to create better relations between the University and the neighboring community.
Glen attended one year of graduate school before accepting a scholarship from the USC School of Law from which he obtained his Juris Doctor degree.
His first legal work was as the assistant to the City Attorney in Beverly Hills but shortly after passing the California Bar he joined the Los Angeles County Public Defenders Office. He worked as a trial lawyer for several years and eventually directed the LA Public Defender's Compton Office. During his work with the LA Public Defender he served in the "special trials" division, handling the most serious cases assigned to the office. He became a public defender hero for standing up to a trial judge who tried to control his activities, leading to a case which held that deputy public defenders are not court attaches and have the same independence as private defense attorneys.
At the age of 34 Glen was hired as the head of the Santa Barbara County Public Defenders Officer where he served for 24 years. He retired from that office in 1999 and shortly thereafter created the Legal Project of the Committee for Social Justice in Santa Barbara where he volunteers to represents homeless people in legal causes for which they cannot otherwise find representation.
He has served as President of the California Public Defenders Association; President of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association; and, Co-chair of the Santa Barbara Criminal Defense Bar Association, among other positions. He has lectured on law and legal ethics. He has received many awards and recognition for his service as an attorney for the indigent. These include specific recognition from the South Central (LA) Bar Association, the ACLU of Santa Barbara, the City of Carpinteria, and the County of Santa