Meet alumnus John Burke ’07

John BurkeWhy or what do you love about St. Joe’s?

First thing I love about St. Joe's is that I met my wife there. Second, college is an experience! St. Joe's provides you with all the experiences a person would want at college while providing the appropriate guidance and support through an amazing four years of your life.

What are you doing now for work?

I am employed as an attorney at Zerillo Law, a litigation firm in Portland, Maine, that handles criminal defense, personal injury, family law and divorce, business litigation, federal litigation and appeals cases. My primary responsibilities are criminal defense and personal injury cases.

Describe the faculty while you were a student? Was there one professor that stood out and why?

The faculty members in the criminal justice department were knowledgeable and energetic. They provided a variety of different perspectives in the field of criminal justice. Department chair Dr. Dale Brooker was a superb professor and mentor who not only cared about his students, but also dedicated his time to bring recent cases and conflicts in our society into the classroom.

How would you describe your experience as a student in the criminal justice program?

The criminal justice program is producing the next generation of police officers, lawyers and legal scholars. Having worked in a large prosecutor’s office in Grand Rapids, Mich., and now as a defense attorney, I see many police officers missing the substantive background in criminal justice that Dr. Brooker and the criminal justice faculty teach their students. They provided a comprehensive approach to understanding crime that you cannot get from experience in the field alone. As a defense attorney, the same comprehensive approach has helped me be able to better represent my clients.