Read my story

According to his college guidance counselor, John Cashion ’97 didn’t fit the Northeastern law profile. 

“I went to Holy Cross and then spent a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,” recalls John. His counselor thought the school was too progressive, but John was drawn to its public interest mission and found a perfect fit.

Through a co-op with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, John became interested in criminal defense work. And, through the NUSL-Alaska co-op pipeline, John, a New England native, found a new home state.

“The long winters in Alaska appeal to me,” says John, who served as a public defender for 15 years. “I’m an avid skiier and I love winter sports.”

John and his wife spent nine years living in Bethel, where he was assigned to the local PD’s office. “Bethel is the bush,” he explains. “The aesthetics aren’t great. It’s impoverished. But the work is critical and we [wife and two children, born in Bethel] were able to hack it.”

Though he found public defense work fulflling, John decided to transition to private practice for a variety of reasons, including a desire to get back into the courtroom, in 2012. “I felt like I had seen it all, and as I moved up into supervisory positions, I had fewer opportunities to try cases,” he says. “Now, I have the best of all worlds: defending clients who need solid representation and controlling my own destiny.”

Co-op 1

US District Court for the District of Alaska, Anchorage

On his first co-op, John was drawn to the Northeastern-Alaska pipeline (more than 90 NUSL graduates practice in the 49th state). Under the supervision of the Honorable James Singleton Jr., John delved into the federal justice system.

Co-op 2

Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston

At CPCS (the state public defender agency), John found his calling in criminal defense.


Prisoners’ Rights

Following an inspiring criminal defense co-op, John enrolled in the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic and led the charge in contesting a disciplinary board hearing.

Co-op 3

Stern Shapiro, Boston

John spent his third co-op with a leading defense firm, where he worked under the supervision of Patricia Garin ’84, his mentor in the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic (she served as an adjunct faculty member).


  • Criminal Advocacy
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • Evidence
  • Constitutional Litigation

Co-op 4

Edwards and Angell, Providence

For his final co-op, John wanted a taste of large firm practice. At this national law firm, he gained broad exposure to civil litigation.

After graduation

Clerk, United States District Court for the District of Alaska, Anchorage

John’s first co-op led to a prestigious two-year clerkship with the Honorable James Singleton Jr.


Public Defender, Alaska

John spent 15 years as a public defender (in progressively supervisory roles), handling a wide range of complex cases in both urban and rural (as in the Alaskan bush) locations.


Founding Partner, Cashion Gilmore, Anchorage

Today, John uses his extensive trial experience expertise to defend clients throughout Alaska.


An experienced defense attorney who generates results.