Tara I. Allen, Candace Cain, and Linda (Jarrett) Cohn – graduated in Law in ’98, ’83, and ’97 respectively – beloved once-students of Northeastern University, have now established their own law trifecta in the Western District of Pennsylvania, at the Federal Public Defender’s Office. All of them were unknowingly attracted to Pittsburgh, the Steel City. While Cohn and Cain do belong to this area, Allen moved here from Sacramento, so that she can be as close as possible to her native place, Boston, all the while working hard to not let anything affect her career.
All three ladies admit how Northeastern’s clinics motivated them, enough to take public interest careers seriously. While Cain said, “I blame Wally Holohan and the Prisoners’ Rights Clinic. That absolutely cemented my love of criminal defense work”, Cohn seconded her thoughts by saying, “There’s not a trial that goes by that I don’t think back to Wally and his cross-examination techniques. That was the best training I ever had.”
For Tara Allen, however, it was the Criminal Advocacy Clinic that made her work in the field of law. “That was the first time I had to go to court, to learn how to talk with clients, and not in legalese.”
In the year 2011, after rigorous and successful training, the trio got the opportunity to argue Reynolds v. the United States in the U.S. Supreme Court, which led to Cain winning freedom for her client. The case opened up a lot of troubling and suppressed avenues, the prominent one being the people convicted under SORNA (Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act) before the year 2006 were rightfully convicted or not. These people have now been remanded to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The Northeastern Alumnae have taken on themselves to battle their way out of the SORNA issue, and will not stop until this intricate problem is solved.