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Ara Gershengorn

Lecturer on Law

Winter 2024

Ara Gershengorn
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Ms. Gershengorn is an attorney in the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard University, where she advises senior leadership on a wide range of issues including investigations and litigation, faculty and student affairs, and research and regulatory matters. Ms. Gershengorn has served as lead in-house counsel managing the litigation challenging Harvard College’s consideration of race in admissions. She serves on the Boston Bar Association Higher Education Steering Committee and was appointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to serve on the SJC Standing Advisory Committee on the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Before joining Harvard, Ms. Gershengorn was a partner in the Boston office of Foley Hoag LLP, where she represented clients in connection with complex disputes and internal and government investigations. Ms. Gershengorn also had a significant pro bono practice, working alongside and on behalf of the Victim Rights Law Center, the ACLU of Massachusetts, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, and the Medical-Legal Partnership. Her pro bono work included litigation as well as authoring briefs and amicus briefs in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Following her graduation from law school, Ms. Gershengorn was a law clerk for the Honorable Amalya L. Kearse on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and she then joined the U.S. Department of Justice through the Honors Program. As an attorney on the Appellate Staff of the Civil Division, Ms. Gershengorn briefed and argued constitutional and statutory cases in federal courts of appeals across the country. She has authored dozens of briefs in cases in federal courts of appeals and argued cases in nearly every federal circuit. Ms. Gershengorn served as a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School where she served as an editor of the Columbia Law Review, and she is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College.


  • A.B. English and American Literature and Language Harvard College, 1993
  • J.D. Law Columbia University School of Law, 2000