Read my story

Ira Gant ’10 loves a good fight.

In fact, that’s what gets him up and out every morning as he heads to work as a public defender in the Alternative Commitment Unit at the Committee for Public Counsel Services (CPCS) in Boston. There, he represents clients the government seeks to commit as sexually dangerous persons, sometimes long after their criminal sentences have ended.  If committed, a client receives a sentence of anywhere from one day to life. 

“Where else could you come in every day and fight like hell? There’s something both pragmatic and romantic about it,” he says.

He started working as a public defender on criminal cases right after graduation — exactly what he wanted to do since entering law school. In this way, law school fulfilled Ira’s expectations. “I came to Northeastern for two reasons: the institutional commitment to public interest law matched my own, and, with the co-op program, I knew I would quickly be back to work learning in the field — where I learn best.”

Co-op 1

Arizona Supreme Court, Staff Attorney’s Office, Phoenix

Ira worked on a case in which a citizen group challenged a state program as violating separation of church and state.

Activities

  • International Law Society (co-chair)
  • Criminal Law Society (founder)
  • Northeastern University Law Journal (managing editor)

Research Assistant

Ira assisted Professor Deborah Ramirez with national security law research and grant writing.

Co-op 2

US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, Washington, DC

Ira worked with an attorney inspecting a state’s sole juvenile prison to determine its compliance with the law.

Electives

  • First Amendment
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Advanced Criminal Procedure: Investigation

Co-op 3

Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Trial and Appellate Divisions, Washington, DC

Teaching Assistant

Legal Skills in Social Context

Co-op 4

Committee for Public Counsel Services, Roxbury Defenders Unit, Roxbury, Massachusetts

Ira represented clients at arraignment hearings, appearing before a variety of judges, and second-sat a two-day jury trial.

After graduation

Public Defender, Committee for Public Counsel Services, New Bedford, Massachusetts

Now

Staff Attorney, Committee for Public Counsel Services, Somerville (Mass.)

Result

A protector of rights and access to the legal system.