FACULTY PROFILE Josie Gough (BA '74, MEd '78, JD '84)
To be of service
Josie Gough supports students as assistant dean of the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity
At age 13, Josie Gough was arrested while demonstrating for fair housing practices during the 1960s Civil Rights movement. That experience sparked a lifelong desire to help others to fight the good fight. A first-generation college student, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Loyola University Chicago before earning her law degree from Loyola’s School of Law. Today, Gough serves the law school as assistant dean of the Office of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. Here, Director of Communications Kristi Turnbaugh talks to Gough about why she became a lawyer, ways she stays connected during the pandemic, and how she helps create career opportunities for students.
What made you want to go to law school?
I grew up during the Civil Rights movement. When I was in grammar school, my best friend’s father was an attorney. In connection with his work, he would take the two of us to his downtown office, to NAACP meetings all over the state, and to Springfield, where law and policy would be on display. For him, it was the ability to spend time with his daughter, and for me, it was exposure to a world of possibilities.
My best friend and I had our first and last arrest [in 1965] when we were 13 years old, demonstrating in front of City Hall for fair housing at the same time that Dr. Martin Luther King was in the City of Chicago. Thrown into a police wagon and taken to the central district police station at 11th and State Street, where we were then thrown into a cell. This experience is something I will never forget.
I could see myself working as an activist attorney as part of a movement far bigger than me. I knew law school would be the way to do that and change my life in so many ways. After graduating college, I hadn’t quite figured out how I would pay for law school. So that part of the dream was deferred for a few years. I became a high school English teacher. I taught at Chicago Public Schools for 7 years and then decided that I was either going to be three years older with a law degree, or three years older without it. So I quit my job, used my pension, and paid for the first year of law school. And the rest is history.