After graduating from Rutgers School of Law in 1969, Jeff received a fellowship to work providing legal services to indigent residents in Newark, New Jersey. After several years, he left that position to become a highly touted criminal defense lawyer. Recognizing that he was limited in impact by representing one criminal defendant at a time, Jeff moved into a civil rights practice with the hope of having an impact on the criminal justice system while preserving the constitutional rights of everyone.
Jeff has practiced for 48 Years in NJ, NY, PR and, for the last decade, Virginia. He has been the executive and legal director of the ACLU of New Jersey and the Legal Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights while teaching civil rights, civil liberties and trial practice at Rutgers and NYU School of Law. He has designed and conducted felony trial clinics. In 2006, he was awarded the Fanny Bear Besser Award for Public Service and has been listed as one of the 200 most distinguished graduates of Rutgers Law School.
While in Virginia, Jeff has successfully litigated cases involving a panoply of issues facing the criminal justice system, including police misconduct (false arrest and excessive force), racial profiling, and the basic rights of prisoners to read, receive an education, and in one such case, the right of a blind female prisoner to receive the same educational services as sighted prisoners. He has also fought for the right of prisoners to exercise their right to religion and established the right of male prisoners in Virginia to have a short beard, a principle affirmed by the Supreme Court several years later.
Jeff has written opinion pieces for the Daily Progress, appeared on numerous local programs and was identified by the c-ville in 2015 as one of the most powerful voices in Charlottesville: “If power can be defined as the ability to give a voice to the voiceless, attorney Jeff Fogel would be yodeling at the top of the list."