Gadi Ezra graduated in 2012 from the accelerated track, earning his LL.B and LL.M (magna cum laude) in Public Law. Gadi likes to read and write, he plays the guitar and loves to travel. Gadi has recently earned an LL.M from NYU School of Law and he is getting ready to return to Israel. We had a short chat with Gadi in New York.
Describe your legal career to this day
I feel a little strange talking about my “career” when in fact it had only just begun a short few years ago. If I had to summarize it so far then I joined Buchmann in 2008 as a part of the "Outstanding Periphery Students" Program, established by Prof. Ariel Porat. During my last year in law school I had the pleasure and honor to work as a teaching assistant to Prof. Eyal Benvenisti and Dr. Sharon Weintal in their Constitutional Law Course – a position for which I earned the Rector’s Award for teaching in 2012. During law school, in between the many study groups, classes, research assignments and teaching, I worked full time for a government office; published opinion columns from time to time in Haaretz and Ma’ariv; and remained in active (my significant other would say "too active") reserve duty. After graduating, I went on to personally intern for the Israeli State Attorney, Mr. Moshe Lador. That was an incredible year in which I had the privilege to sit in crucial meetings and take part in cardinal decision making processes in our country. After my internship I worked in a big law firm's litigation department, until I was admitted to the LL.M program at NYU in the International Legal Studies program, where I was also selected to give a speech on behalf of my fellow students at Convocation. Alongside studying in New York, I worked for the Center on Law and Security at NYU, assisting Dr. Rapahel Bitton in his article on oversight of intelligence organizations.
What tools or insights did you receive in Buchmann?
Although I had my "suspicions", after graduating from a top U.S law school, I can say with confidence that at Tel Aviv University you get legal education comparable to the best schools in the world. Most importantly, I graduated from Tel Aviv University having friends that are like a second family to me.
What can you tell me about your experience as an Israeli in New York?
I took part in a program consisting of more than 400 students coming from more than 60 different countries. The variety of languages, customs and cultures is endless. Spending 10 months in such a program gives you a set of professional and personal tools that you just cannot get anywhere else. I learned how to approach different people; how to convey an argument to a biased audience, or clueless to notions that for us seem basic; and understand how complex the term “Law” really is. But with all honesty, I learned that at the end of the day, people are people are people. Even in New York, everyone wants recognition, love, a smile and a kind word. Beyond that, my time in New York made me realize that Israel unparalleled human resource. We possess creativity, initiative and wisdom that you don’t see often in other places.
Do you have any special memories from your time and TAU?
I have two. Close to the end of our first semester I was called on reserve duty in operation “Cast Lead” (Oferet Yetzuka). My team was one of the first to go into Gaza and I was away for about a month and a half – or "forever" in semester time. The faculty, on their end, did everything in their power so that every reserve soldier would fit back in as easily as possible. Besides the time extensions that I received I vividly remember the compassion and willingness of faculty and administrative personal to assist. This experience is what allowed me to return to the path I had recently started at the time. It taught me that at TAU Derech Eretz and courtesy is even more important than academic excellence.
The second memory is from our last class in Dr. Yofi Tirosh’s course on Jurisprudence. Buchmann is full of excellent people and sometimes it is easy to lose yourself in this sea of talented people. Yofi, who has since become a kind of mentor to me, chose to end her final class saying: “never forget the reason you came to this place, who you were when you walked in and who you want to be and what you want to change in the future.” To this day I carry the idea of how important it is to keep this inner flame, or passion, within that makes our profession a calling. Last month I concluded my Convocation speech at NYU with a similar message.