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Professor Green Returns to Legal Studies Department

 

Returning professor Candi Green Esq. was excited to take part in this interview because she believes it is important that future students have the opportunity to learn about their professors. She shared her thoughts and experiences with us on topics that ranged from her journey and motivation to enter the legal profession, to the types of real-world advice she can offer students during her class discussions. After our conversation it was clear that ASA College has done well to retain Professor Green as an educator – she is passionate about her profession and represents the better side of our criminal justice system. Above all, she cares deeply about what she can bring to the students, as she says, “I’m very interested in what they want to do and become. And, I’m a prosecutor, so I deal with a lot of law enforcement on a daily basis – I believe I do have something to contribute.”

We began by asking professor Green about her favorite classes to teach. One class that she enjoys, “Introduction to Law Enforcement”, allows her to share what she has learned on the job. For instance, she will draw on her experience with different types of “identification procedures” for a defendant when the topic comes up in class. As she has litigated some cases involving lineups, show ups, and confirmatory procedures, she can go beyond the book’s description of these actions and contribute the practical thinking that one needs when carrying out these procedures. Her key advice for those involved tends to center on thoroughness:

“So the more information that you’ve got up front, when you investigate a case as an officer, the more helpful that would be. Because obviously as time goes on, evidence gets destroyed, people’s memories fade, and you can’t get your hands on certain things.”

In fact, she says that it is important that officers ask as many questions as possible of the complainant or victim, get alternative information (from family members and witnesses), and make sure that all sources of video surveillance have been identified and explicitly preserved for future use. All of these factors come into play when she is trying cases in front of juries who want to see every detail documented.

Beyond knowledge, she also has some wisdom to offer her students. Ms. Green’s interest in law was sparked by her childhood admiration for the always confident and composed Claire Huxtable. Though this reference made us smile, she believed it was also important to note because the idea of being authentic and motivated is an essential aspect of a long and fulfilling law enforcement career. Finding your motivation may involve trying out different roles while your still school. This was true for her: “I’ve always felt like I was going to be a prosecutor, but in law school I did do a defense clinic just to see how the other side sees it.” This advice matters because it is well known that everyone involved in law enforcement, from prosecutors and defense attorneys, to police officers and investigators, face the danger of becoming burned out due to the intensity and exposure of the profession. Ms. Green says that she has seen both sides, and her advice to future officers always includes a reminder:

“So I just tell them to be ethical, stay true to themselves and just to remember the reasons why they wanted to be a law enforcement officer in the first place and to be respectful because everyone deserves respect.”

Because ASA students often have so much life experience to draw upon, Ms. Green believes they can bring something special to the law enforcement profession. She says, “I like the fact that they’re very diverse, and they have a lot of different backgrounds, and they’re not a typical student that like maybe I was in college with was of a certain age.” Their hard-fought accomplishments as non-traditional students – students who have had to balance multiple responsibilities, who have learned multiple languages – have given them more human understanding with which to interpret legal situations.

Professor Green sees nothing wrong with a non-traditional approach to a legal career. She herself took time before applying to law school. In fact, she earned a Master in Public Administration degree at John Jay before attending Hofstra University Law School. She refers to her second degree as “the scenic route” and said that it helped her get more academically prepared for the rigors of law school. It has been her experience that many of her students come to reflect on their time at ASA in a similar way, whether they are preparing for advanced degrees or long careers in law enforcement. And for her, this is the most rewarding part of teaching:

“when I meet them (students), it’s in their first semester. They tell me what they want to do, and when I see them actually carry that out and fulfill it…It has been nice to see that – they said it and they actually did it.”

She has seen students go on to master’s degrees and become uniformed officers whom she sometimes meets on the street. Students going on to do great things with their lives is what keeps her teaching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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