Here comes the Judge

Tim GreeleyTimothy P. Greeley has been a Magistrate Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan since 1988. However, in his other role, he serves as an adjunct instructor for the Criminal Justice Department at Northern Michigan University. 

Greeley teaches CJ 315 Criminal Procedures. “Teaching in the criminal justice program makes me a better judge,” he says. “Teaching criminal procedures require me to constantly update myself on changes in the law in the area of criminal procedure, which is a benefit in the cases I handle. I am also able to utilize prior case experiences in teaching. Students enjoy the stories from past cases and it improves the educational experience.”

Greeley graduated with honors from Western Michigan University in 1976 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wayne State University Law School in 1980. Before becoming a federal judge, he served as a clerk for Judge Phillip Pratt in the in the United States District Court for the Eastern District. He later worked at the law firm of Foster, Swift, Collins and Coey in Lansing. In January 1988, Judge Greeley was appointed as a United States Magistrate Judge, making him the youngest magistrate judge at that time.

Judge Greeley has taught for the Criminal Justice Department since 1994. “He’s a popular teacher and has received consistently high ratings,” says Sue Young, secretary for the Criminal Justice Department. “I often hear wonderful comments from our students about him as an instructor.” One student said, “Knowing he was a federal judge was a little intimidating going into class… however, he was one of my favorite profs I have had in the CJ department. He’s very approachable and willing to help. He took an interest in us; not only as his students, but also in the things we do outside of the classroom.” Greeley immerses his students by taking them into his courtroom to experience the courtroom drama. One student commented, “I wasn’t so sure I would even like learning about the court issues, but the way he taught it was fun, interesting, and extremely knowledgeable.”

Judge Greeley grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He describes his heroes being, “Judge Phillip Pratt and Judge Douglas W. Hillman who I had the opportunity to work for and who helped to direct me. They provided me with an excellent example of how to be a judge.” Judge Greeley explains why he likes teaching. “I enjoy the interaction with the students. When teaching a course in the classroom, as opposed to on-line, I am in a much better position to read the class and determine whether the lesson plan I have is working. I enjoy the opportunity to share the knowledge I have learned in my position.” Judge Greeley adds, “If you want to do well in my class, attend classes, participate, and read the assignments.”

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