Read my story

Noah Lerner knows that the burnout rate for public defenders is high — but he is undaunted.

During three years of service with Teach For America, Noah saw his students come into contact with the police, and too often, these interactions made him fearful for their safety. Noah decided that he wanted to keep working for young people, but as a lawyer, not a teacher. He chose Northeastern because he wanted co-ops that would help him understand the legal obstacles that juveniles face, and how other systems, such as welfare and legislation, interact with the justice system.

“When I arrived for my co-op with the Capital Defender, they gave me the choicest assignments,” recalls Noah. “I think in large part this was the result of my previous experience on co-op: I showed up on day one and I knew what I was doing and understood what they were doing.”

Now, as a public defender with the King County Department of Public Defense in Seattle, Noah is defending both kids and adults, safeguarding their rights and advocating for their futures.

Co-op

Citizens for Juvenile Justice, Boston

For his first co-op, Noah did a deep dive into the legislative process by advocating at the Massachusetts State Senate and House of Representatives on issues including expungement of juvenile records, parent/child privilege and the collection of data related to justice-involved juveniles.

Honors

Public Interest Law Scholar

Noah received a prestigious full-tuition Public Interest Law Scholarship based on his impressive academic profile as well as extensive experience in fields concerned with social justice and public service.

Co-op

Middlesex Juvenile Court, Lowell (Massachusetts)

Under the supervision of Judge Jay Blitzman, Noah researched and analyzed questions of law and collaborated with community members on juvenile justice reform efforts, with an emphasis on restorative justice practices and reducing school-based offenses.

Electives

  • Social Welfare Law
  • Federal Courts and the Federal System
  • Evidence
  • Labor Law I

Clinic

Domestic Violence

Noah interviewed clients about incidents of domestic violence and identified areas of need and potential resources for legal assistance. He also created and implemented community awareness programs about domestic violence and legal remedies.

Co-op

Northern Virginia Capital Defender Office, Tysons

Noah researched questions of law, and wrote legal memos and motions in preparation for a capital trial. He also participated in mitigation interviews, investigation and team strategy meetings for multiple capital cases.

Co-op

The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia, Washington DC

Noah assisted trial division attorneys in juvenile case investigations, research and preparation and participated in a trial practice seminar that emphasized opening and closing statements, and cross examination.

Teaching Assistant

  • Property Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence

After graduation

Public Defender, King County Department of Defense, Seattle

With a prestigious Equal Justice Works Fellowship, Chase spent two and a half years providing direct representation to trans individuals with psychiatric disabilities who were in prison and jail.

Result

An ardent advocate for children and adults.