Faculty Spotlight: Julian A. Cook III

News @ Georgia Law November 2014 Alumni Profile


Charles BrownName: Julian A. Cook III
Title: J. Alton Hosch Professor of Law
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Law school / graduation year: University of Virginia / 1988
Other degree(s) / institution(s) / year(s): B.A. / Duke University / 1983; M.P.A. / Columbia University / 1985


1. What influenced your decision to go to law school?
As a child, I admired my father tremendously and simply wanted to be like him.  Since he was an attorney (and is currently a judge), I decided early on in life that I was going to pursue a legal career. 

2. What did you do before entering the legal teaching academy?
After graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, I clerked for two years for the Honorable Philip M. Pro, a federal district court judge in the District of Nevada (Las Vegas).  After my clerkship, I was employed as an Assistant United States Attorney in Las Vegas and then in Washington, D.C.  I prosecuted an array federal cases, but a substantial portion of my practice was spent prosecuting narcotics offenses.  While in Las Vegas, I was a member of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.  I have been very fortunate in that I have always enjoyed my work and have had terrific superiors and colleagues. 

3. What made you decide to become a professor?
Without question it was my experience at the University of Virginia School of Law.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and I had great respect for my professors.  Not only were they extremely knowledgeable and talented classroom instructors, but I noticed that they were able to pursue work projects that were of particular interest to them.  The freedom to pursue writing and other outside projects that were personally appealing was one of the many things that I found attractive about the law teaching profession.

4. What do you enjoy most about your job? What is the most rewarding aspect of being a professor?
Honestly, I enjoy the teaching and the scholarship about the same.  They are equally rewarding.  Prior to my arrival at UGA on a full-time basis, now Associate Dean Lonnie Brown and I were talking and he shared with me his positive impressions of our student body.  I concur with his sentiments.  The students are quite bright, and I thoroughly enjoy teaching them.  In addition, the ability to write articles and pursue book projects that are of particular interest to me is every bit as rewarding as my teaching activities. 

5. What type of influence do you hope to have on your students?
Every semester I hope that I not only convey the material in an effective and interesting manner, but that I instill in them the sense that they are highly intelligent individuals who are capable of achieving great things.  For those who intend to pursue a career in criminal litigation, I hope to inspire them to be zealous advocates, irrespective of whether they become prosecutors or defense attorneys.

6. You currently teach several courses. Which one is your favorite to teach and why?
It is tie between Criminal Procedure I (Investigative Criminal Procedure) and Evidence.  Evidence is a difficult course, but it is interesting and challenging.  There are endless hypothetical evidence scenarios that present themselves and it is always interesting to discuss them in class.  On the other hand, I think that Criminal Procedure I is absolutely fascinating.  It is a class that addresses two competing interests: the interest in allowing the police to perform its investigative function, and the interest in protecting individual liberties.  It seems as if everyone has an opinion about where the various lines should be drawn.

7. Are you currently conducting any research? If so, what is its focus?
I recently published a book titled "Inside Investigative Criminal Procedure: What Matters and Why" by Aspen Publishers.  I am currently working on a second student treatise for Aspen that pertains to adjudicative criminal procedure.  In addition, another law school book publisher has requested that I prepare a proposal for a comprehensive criminal procedure (investigative and adjudicative) casebook.  I recently commenced this project and the proposal is currently in its early stages. Finally, I recently accepted an invitation to join my good friend and colleague, Professor Ron Carlson, on one of his books, which is published by West.  The focus of that book is upon Georgia trial rules. So my upcoming months will be devoted to these projects.   

8. What is your favorite thing about living in Athens?
Actually, I don't live in Athens.  My family and I live in Gwinnett County.  Athens is an absolute lovely town.  We live about an hour away on account of my wife's employment.  But I have yet to mind the commute.  The commute is easy when you enjoy your residential community, as well as the city and place where you work. 

9. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I chase after our two young kids in our house!  They are a real joy and it is so much fun watching them grow.  So I really spend most of my free time doing family-related things. 

10. What book/resource do you find yourself referencing the most?
I read the Bible with regularity.  In my view, it is quite clear that there is a purpose that we are to fulfill during our journey here on this earth.  And the Bible provides me with life's answers, and informs me how I should strive to live my life day to day.