B.A., University of Chicago; J.D., University of Michigan
Charlie Gerstein is a partner at Gerstein Harrow LLP, a boutique litigation firm in D.C. and Los Angeles specializing in civil rights, targeted class actions, and complex motions and appeals.
Professor Gerstein has handled cases from investigation, through discovery, trial, and appeal, winning precedent-setting rulings on bail and the first-amendment rights of public defenders, and recovering significant damages for his clients.
Before forming Gerstein Harrow, Professor Gerstein was an attorney at Civil Rights Corps, where he founded the organization’s public-defense initiative and was lead counsel on all of the initiative’s cases, and is an adjunct professor of law at Georgetown Law Center, where he teaches a seminar on the first-amendment rights of defense lawyers. Professor Gerstein’s public-defense cases have been covered extensively in the press, including in the New York Times and Texas Monthly.
Professor Gerstein graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School in 2014, finishing second in his class. After law school, Professor Gerstein clerked for the Honorable J. Paul Oetken of the Southern District of New York and the Honorable Pierre N. Leval of the Second Circuit. Before law school, Professor Gerstein was a public-defense investigator. Before that, he was a chef. And before that, he worked in landscaping and played guitar in a band.
Meanwhile, Professor Gerstein has worked in voter protection for several election cycles. In 2020, he served as a team leader for Navajo Nation Voter Protection for the Joe Biden campaign, and in 2018, he served as Co-Director for Navajo Nation Voter Protection for the Democratic Party of Arizona. In 2017, he served as a boiler-room volunteer for the Doug Jones campaign, and a poll observer for the Democratic Party of Virginia. And in 2016, he served as a poll observer for the Hillary Clinton campaign in Pennsylvania.
In his spare time, Professor Gerstein maintains an active pro bono practice. For two years, Professor Gerstein was general counsel to an independent labor union. In the last several years, he wrote sections of the motion to dismiss–response brief for the Plaintiffs in a suit against the Trump Presidential Campaign and Roger Stone; represented an author in a complex immigration matter related to eligibility for U.S. royalties on publications; represented a veteran in successfully resolved dispute with a for-profit college over misstated VA-benefits eligibility; represented an injured worker in a workers’-compensation matter; and represented a debtor in a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act matter.