"Judge Mullen always listens to each person's side of the story, treats people with respect, and leaves their dignity intact," says St. Ambrose MSW Continuing Education Committee member Julie Caven. "He understands the impact of his decisions upon children and families and is a calm, sane voice in child welfare-truly an advocate for social rights."
Mullen was appointed a district associate judge in 1986 with a primary assignment to juvenile court. Prior to his appointment he served in the Iowa Attorney General's Office and spent several years in private practice, specializing in criminal, family, juvenile and appellate law.
Mullen has served on numerous boards, committees, task forces and planning groups, including the Iowa Supreme Court Task Force on Domestic Violence, the Iowa Court Improvement Project Task Force, the Juvenile Court Officer's Training School advisory committee, the Scott County Domestic Violence Coalition and the Children's Justice Initiative's Data Collection Task Force. Mullen also participated in both of Iowa's Child and Family Service Reviews. A member of the Scott County Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Mullen earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Illinois, Champaign, and his law degree from Drake University, Des Moines.
Inaugurated in 1999, the Rev. William Dawson Social Justice Award honors those individuals and social service agencies from the greater Quad Cities area that have demonstrated a commitment to social and economic justice, and the promotion and advancement of human rights.