Al and Jessica have known each other for Jessica’s entire life. He even left a trial to attend her birth. So, they’re pretty close. They’ve gone on several multi-day tandem tours. Al in the front. Jessica in the rear. In no way an indication of their feelings about gender equality. Al is an amazing father (says Jessica and her brothers and anyone who has witnessed him in action) and a well-respected civil rights attorney. Jessica never intended to follow her father’s lead and go to law school, she says as she finishes up her second year at the University of Michigan Law school. Read below to learn a bit more about Al & Jessica.
Al Gerhardstein is busy. He is currently counsel of record on the Obergefell case challenging Ohio’s ban on recognizing marriages between same sex couples. The case is now pending before the U.S. Supreme Court and a decision on this case and similar challenges to KY, TN and MI laws is expected by the end of June. He has also recently served as class counsel in cases challenging conditions of confinement in Ohio’s juvenile prisons and in a case that resulted in the Collaborative Agreement which has been repeatedly cited as a national model for police reform. This eight year effort resulted in more officer accountability, less use of force, elimination of systemic factors related to racially-based policing, and increased engagement of the African American community through problem solving. He is currently working with numerous clients through litigation and model policy advocacy to reform taser policies in law enforcement agencies across the region. Al is the Founder of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center and a Board Member of the Ohio Association for Justice. He is a frequent lecturer to professional and general audiences on civil rights topics, including appearances on CBS, NBC, and NPR news programs. He earned his B.A. degree from Beloit College and his J.D. degree from and was a Root Tilden Scholar at New York University. Al and his law partner Jennifer Branch litigate causes not just cases and they pursue reforms in all of their practice areas. www.gbfirm.com. He also loves pasta, being a grandpa, and good beer. Because, well, who doesn’t?
No longer is Jessica Gingold just the “daughter” of the father-daughter bike ride, though she has never really been “just a daughter.” Nonetheless, over the past six years she has become a professional in her own right working to ensure young people are afforded their civil rights and empowered in both the education and juvenile justice systems. She has spent the past six years working for Mikva Challenge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing youth voice and civic engagement, returning to school for a masters in education at Harvard, and now she is completing her second year towards a law degree at the University of Michigan. Last summer she interned with Children’s Law Center in Covington, KY, where she led a project to reform juvenile reentry efforts throughout Ohio. She has been working in the Juvenile Justice Clinic at Michigan and leads a student organization that advocates in school discipline hearings. This coming summer, she will be working at the Louisiana Center for Children’s Rights in New Orleans. Hence the final destination. She also loves to cook, is pretty keen on building community, has been known to write about her travels, and digs her niece and nephew.
They both enjoy bicycling.