School of Arts and Sciences

Criminal Justice Professor and Alumnus Brings 40 Years of Legal Experience to the Classroom

Friday, October 09, 2015

Pictured is Richard Linzer, J.D., visiting associate professor of criminal justice and interim director of the criminal justice administration program. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula

For the past 15 years, Richard Linzer, J.D., brought his passion for law into the criminal justice classrooms at Point Park University as an adjunct instructor.

"As both a Point Park faculty member and alum, I set high expectations for my students and I find that is the best motivating factor for them."

-- Richard Linzer, J.D.



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This fall, Linzer has taken on the roles of visiting associate professor for the Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies and interim director of the M.S. in criminal justice administration program. 

Offered on Saturdays, the criminal justice administration master's degree program can be completed in one year (three semesters) and is tailored to both recent college graduates and experienced working professionals.

"The attainment of a master's degree in criminal justice administration represents a high level of scholarship that lets employers know the level of professionalism in job candidates," explained Linzer.

Linzer has more than 40 years of professional experience in the legal field working as an attorney in both the public and private sectors. He served as a supervising assistant district attorney for Allegheny County, a senior deputy attorney general for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and as senior counsel in the Office of Counsel to the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Most recently, Linzer was an electronic discovery attorney in the litigation department at ReedSmith in Downtown Pittsburgh.

“I really enjoy being able to motivate the students and bring my many years of real-world experience to the classroom,” said Linzer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from Point Park in 1970, followed by a law degree from the University of Akron.

“I provide the students with actual examples of legal problems and encourage them to formulate solutions while sharing with them the practicalities of being involved in the field of criminal justice,” added Linzer.

Kaila Crivello, a senior criminal justice major who graduated from South Park High School in South Park, Pa., enjoys Linzer’s teaching style.

“Professor Linzer is an outstanding professor. He thoroughly guides his students through the readings in our textbooks while incorporating stories from his personal experiences. He is always looking for input from us,” said Crivello, whose goal is to become a federal probation officer following graduation.

Kelly Gibson, a 2015 criminal justice alumna, transfer student and paralegal secretary for Farrell & Associates in Downtown Pittsburgh, has also benefited from having Linzer as her professor.

“The text was difficult but Professor Linzer had a way of teaching the content that made everything make sense. He demands a level of professionalism and excellence in his classes. I can tell you that was one of the most helpful things he drove home. He was one of my favorite professors!” remarked Gibson.

Linzer explained that one of his main teaching goals is to make sure his students are prepared to exhibit the depth of their knowledge and learning experiences when they go on job interviews.

He added: “As both a Point Park faculty member and alum, I set high expectations for my students and I find that is the best motivating factor for them.”

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, junior mass communication major

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