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Alumna, a lawyer, returns for doctorate

CJ Martin is getting ac-quainted with campus all over again. The New York City native graduated from Binghamton in the 1970s with a degree in anthropology and creative writing. Now the well-traveled lawyer and writer has returned to pursue a doctorate in English.

“Im actually taking Shakespeare at the graduate level with the same professor I had as an undergraduate,” she said.

That professor, Albert Tricomi, said Martin has already distinguished herself in class discussions and projects this fall. “Shes just a superlative student,” he said. “And student is the wrong word because in many ways shes a peer.”

Tricomi noted that Martin has a particular love for Shakespeare and Shakespeare studies. “What a thrill it is not only to know someone like that,” he said, “but also to have someone with that kind of enthusiasm and knowledge in the class, because its infectious.”

Martin expected to pursue a career in publishing, but decided to go to law school after seeing how difficult it was for women to advance in the publishing field at the time.

She graduated from the University of Toledo Law School and, after working for Legal Services in northeast Pennsylvania for several years, landed a job in the Pennsylvania Attorney Generals Office defending large tort cases.

“I really learned a lot because I was trying cases like mad,” Martin said of her five years there.

She eventually moved to California, where she did general civil litigation and appellate practice for law firms and municipalities. Martin has written about travel and technology for the San Francisco Examiner and other publications and served as editor of a national legal magazine. Her favorite piece was about visiting allegedly haunted places in England.

“I called it ectotourism,” she recalled with a smile.

Martin is no stranger to teaching, having worked at the law schools at Temple Univer-sity and at the University of San Francisco. She returned to school for a masters degree when she decided she wanted to teach literature.

“I wanted to get people excited about reading,” she said.

She received her masters degree in English literature in June from California State Uni-versity and then moved to Johnson City. Martin expects to expand on her masters thesis about the law in 19th-century English literature for her doctorate. Shes especially interested in womens rights. “Women char-acters change as the laws affecting womens rights change,” she said. “I want to look at that interplay.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08