John was born and raised in Northern California, so his ties to the area run deep.  He attended U.C. Berkeley, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2012. While studying at Berkeley, he also served as a rescue swimmer for Cal Sailing Club. On one particularly stormy day, John saved a family from the frigid waters after their small boat capsized, including a child, a senior citizen, and a disabled person

After excelling in criminal law courses at U.C. Law S.F. (formerly known as U.C. Hastings), he earned his law degree from there in 2015. John also served as Executive Communications Director for the nation's oldest constitutional law journal, the Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly. Additionally, John represented the law school as a lead member of the Hastings Advocacy Committee in Sacramento, negotiating with leading legislators for public funding of advanced higher education. 

John has escaped from Alcatraz twice, both to Aquatic Park in S.F. and to Angel Island, the latter without a wetsuit. He has climbed Half Dome, ran with the bulls in Pamplona, and competed as a rodeo rider. However, John's true passion is defending his clients from mass incarceration and fighting for their consitutional rights.