’98 Alumnus Passionate About Assistant U.S. Attorney Position
When Scott Ferber ’98 starts talking about being an assistant United States attorney, his voice changes. He talks a bit faster. He’s enthusiastic. He’s excited. To say it is easy to experience his passion for the position would be a great understatement. “I know it may sound corny, but I wake up every morning truly loving what I do,” Ferber said.
While growing up in Columbus, Ferber couldn’t imagine being anything besides an attorney. As a child, he often followed his father, who is an attorney, to work on the weekends. Ferber’s father practices labor and employment law, and Ferber fully intended to follow in his father’s footsteps. He expected a law firm position was in his future. Indeed, Ferber worked at his father’s firm throughout law school.
But it took no more than a few criminal law courses at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law to steer his legal path in a different direction. He learned that his true calling was criminal prosecution.
“Private practice certainly is a noble profession and one that I enjoyed. But at the end of the day, you are zealously advocating a position on behalf of a client who, understandably, has expectations about the outcome,” Ferber said about working at a firm. “There is something different about being a prosecutor. Justice is the only mandate. Your job is to do what is right.”
Ferber discovered his passion while taking criminal law classes, specifically those with now-Dean Alan Michaels and Professor Sharon Davies. Ferber enrolled in Davies’ Criminal Procedure course and Michaels’ White Collar Crime course.
“It wasn’t just the subject matter that attracted me to criminal law, although that certainly was part of it,” Ferber shared. “It was the enthusiasm that Professor Michaels and Professor Davies brought to their courses that sealed it for me. I cannot begin to say how appreciative I am of Professor Michaels and Professor Davies for helping me down this path.”
Shortly after graduating, Ferber landed a position at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where Dean Michaels previously worked. While at the District Attorney’s Office, Ferber investigated and prosecuted just about every sort of street crime — drugs, robbery, burglary, assault, etc. — reaffirming that the practice area was right for him.
Ferber remained at the District Attorney’s Office until 2002 and then entered private practice for several years — first at Littler Mendelson in New York City and then at King & Spalding in Atlanta. Ferber, however, felt the pull to return to public service. He landed his dream job in March 2008 as an assistant United States attorney in Atlanta, where he works on the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
Ferber particularly enjoys prosecuting drug crimes for the federal government because it provides the opportunity to “work up the chain.” Ferber observed, “We are able to pursue drug trafficking organizations on a macro level, targeting their distribution networks, sources of supply, and financial arms. I find this work very rewarding and feel as though we’re making a difference.”
Ferber also appreciates the cross-pollination among the office’s different sections. He was recently co-counsel on a weeklong trial where the defendant was convicted of using the Internet and traveling to attempt to entice a minor to have sex.
When asked what the future holds, Ferber quickly responded, “I love what I do and feel very fortunate to be where I am. I have Ohio State to thank for that.”