John Bennett had not always planned to become a lawyer. After earning a bachelor’s degree in history at Tufts University, he worked at the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift Fund in Boston, Massachusetts. He began in grant-making and then moved into compliance, where he grew fascinated by the legal aspects of the non-profit sector, and decided to go to law school.
The Massachusetts native wanted to study in New York City, and a Columbia Law alum who worked as outside counsel for the Fidelity Gift Fund gave positive reviews.
John said Columbia has more than met his expectations. “I was amazed by the vibrancy of public interest on campus,” John said.
During his three years at Columbia, John participated extensively in the public interest community. He coordinated the annual fundraiser Deans’ Cup game against NYU, which raised over $140,000 this year, and served on the boards of the Public Interest Law Foundation and the ACLU.
Several of John’s favorite classes included a seminar on Non-Profit Corporations with Professors Harvey Goldschmid and Peter Swords, the Non-Profit Organizations Clinic with Professor Barbara Schatz and tax courses with Professor Alex Raskolnikov.
John will stay in New York to work in the taxexempt organizations group at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, which counsels some of the most sophisticated private foundations and public charities in the world.