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Corey Hotchkiss: Army vet expands horizons with M.L.S.
Corey Hotchkiss was looking for a degree program to enhance his life experiences, which had taken him from crime labs in Albuquerque and courtrooms in Phoenix to three tours with the U.S. Army in Kosovo, Kuwait and Iraq.
He had moved to Arizona in 2004 to be a fingerprint analyst in the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. While working the graveyard shift and spending many weekends as an intelligence analyst on Army Reserve duty, he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and criminology, magna cum laude, from Arizona State University in 2007.
The first person in his family to attend college, Hotchkiss discovered at ASU his zest for learning and his aptitude
for excelling, and the thought of going
to law school took root.
“What piqued my interest in the Master of Legal Studies at the College of Law was that I could actually get a legal education without having to spend three years in law school, and be able to apply it to my career,” said Hotchkiss, whose career in law
enforcement began in Albuquerque as a detective working on undercover narcotics cases and investigating violent crimes.
He enrolled in the M.L.S. in Fall 2010, selecting courses germane to his career interests – criminal law, forensic science and expert testimony, among others – and immersing himself in the vibrant intellectual culture at law school. His standout classes were Criminal Procedure and Federal Criminal Law, with Professor Carissa Byrne Hessick, Fact Investigation, with Professor Bob Bartels, and Death Penalty Law with Professor Dale Baich.
“I loved it here,” said Hotchkiss, 40. “Never in my life have I been treated as well as I was by my professors and support staff at the law school.
“I just felt good about myself, and I felt good about my classes,” he said. “When issues came up in class, I was able to speak from experience, and that’s how I evened the playing field among my fellow students. And when I interviewed for my externship, they were amazed with my understanding of federal criminal law, and I owe that to my professors.”
Hotchkiss externed for two semesters with the U.S. Probation Office in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, then graduated with honors in May 2012. He currently is employed by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ Western Region facility in Phoenix, and is applying for entrance into the Presidential Management Fellows Program in Washington, D.C.
His dream job is to be a Congressional Liaison/Appropriations Specialist, working in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to create, implement, monitor and direct a comprehensive program between the ATF and Congress on ATF operations. Hotchkiss would be involved in Congressional hearings, decisions, activities and legislation affecting the bureau.
“The M.L.S. program gave me a solid foundation in U.S. law and legal analysis, legal reading, reasoning and writing, including the application of case law, and an extensive amount of legal research that I conducted,” Hotchkiss said. “I could not have made a better choice for my career.”