John Cashion ’97

I have the best of all worlds: defending clients who need solid representation and controlling my own destiny.

John Cashion ’97

According to his college guidance counselor, John Cashion 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 skier 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 fulfilling, John decided to transition to private practice for a variety of reasons, including a desire to get back into the courtroom. “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

US District Court for the District of Alaska, Anchorage

On his first co-op, John was drawn to the Northeastern-Alaska pipeline (approximately 100 NUSL graduates practice in the 49th state). Under the supervision of the Honorable James Singleton Jr., John learned about the intricacies into the federal justice system.

Co-op

Committee for Public Counsel Services, Boston, Massachusetts

On this co-op, John did a deep dive into the world of public defenders — handling matters such as pretrial discovery, withdraw pleas and suppression motions.

Clinic

Prisoners’ Rights

Under faculty supervision, John took responsibility for a complex public parole release hearing for a prisoner client.

Co-op

Stern Shapiro, Boston, Massachusetts

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.

Electives
  • Constitutional Litigation
  • Criminal Advocacy
  • Criminal Trial Practice
  • Evidence
Co-op

Edwards and Angell, Providence, Rhode Island

John got a taste of private practice during his final co-op.

After Graduation

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

Next

Public Defender, Alaska Public Defender Agency, Bethel, Alaska

Now

Founding Partner, Cashion Gilmore, Anchorage, Alaska

Result

A  defense attorney who conquers new frontiers.