Opinions - she has tons of 'em!


C.A. Nix is an accomplished lawyer and university professor. Opinions - she has tons of 'em, and she doesn't mince words when she speaks her mind.  Ms. Nix is passionate about the American criminal justice system and about teaching university students.  A felony prosecutor for 20 years in the solid, conservative Midwest, Ms. Nix continually shocks students with true stories about bizarre twists in her own criminal cases.  She likes molding this new generation of criminal justice professionals - prosecutors, defense attorneys, police officers, judges, probation and parole officers, victim advocates, and on up and down the legal line.  Ethics Ms. Nix stresses ethics in her classroom.  She believes every criminal justice professional should be cloaked with impenetrable integrity.

C.A. Nix has first-hand experience in all three branches of American government - legislative, executive, and judicial. After graduating from the University of Notre Dame Law School, her first legal job was in the Iowa Legislative Service Bureau. Her office was in another gold-domed building - the Iowa State House.  Therein, she helped draft the first revision of Iowa's criminal code in a century.  After the governor signed the bill into law, she helped publish it.

While with the Legislative Service Bureau, Ms. Nix worked closely with them all - Democrats and Republicans, senators and representatives, liberals
lady justice
and conservatives.  She was legal counsel for the Judiciary Committees in the Iowa Senate and House.  She was also legal counsel for a Study Committee on State Prisons.  As such, she toured most of the prisons in the Iowa Department of Corrections. During this early part of her legal career, the Governor appointed Ms. Nix to the Iowa Inmate Transfer Hearing Board.  In that capacity, she presided over inmate hearings in Iowa state prisons.

As a prosecuting attorney first in Des Moines, Iowa and then in South Bend, Indiana, Ms. Nix was a member of the executive branch of government. She personally handled almost every kind of ugly felony case - murder, rape, armed robbery, arson, and serious drug offenses - to name the worst. She was the major felony drug prosecutor in South Bend for approximately 16 years.  She obtained forfeiture of tens of thousands of dollars in cash and other drug-related property. She was in NOVA, the Narcotics Offenders and Violent Activities Task Force. She also became the Drug Court Prosecutor when that specialized court opened its doors to non-violent, addicted drug offenders.

C.A. Nix trained at the National District Attorneys Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC. She was a member of the following national professional working groups which were associated with the National District Attorneys' Association: the Model Legislation Working Group, the National Drug Prosecution Center's Drug Control Working Group, and the National Drug Assessment Advisory Board.

Ms. Nix was in criminal court almost daily during her career prosecutor days. She relished being part of justice being done. She excelled at jury trials and persuaded juries to return guilty verdicts time after time. She stopped counting after the cumulative sentence of “her defendants reached 4,556 years in a 6-year period.

Proud of her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame Law School, Ms. Nix makes time to participate in legal competitions held at the Law School. In 2008 she was a judge in the American Bar Association's Law Student Regional Client Counseling Competition.  In 2007 she was a judge in the Midwest Regional Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Periodically, Ms. Nix has contracted to do work for the Department of Justice. She has reviewed federal grant applications for federally funded
criminal justice programs including the Regional Drug Prosecution Program, the Safe Haven Program, the Adjudication Partnership Program, the Tribal Court Assistance Program, the Anti-Money Laundering Grant Program, and the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.

Ms. Nix switched legal gears in 2003 when she began a second career that of Professor of Criminology and Sociology at Valparaiso University. She shares her knowledge and enthusiasm with students when she teaches The Criminal Justice System, Criminal Law and Procedure, Law Enforcement, Penology, and Sociology of Law. In addition to these criminology courses, Ms. Nix teaches some straight sociology courses Contemporary Social Problems and Society and the Environment. She is a huge advocate for the environment.

C.A. has enjoyed special international relationships with both the Japanese and Chinese.  In 1992 she was a Visiting Expert at the United Nations Asia and Far East Institute (UNAFEI).  Representing the University of Notre Dame Law School, Ms. Nix researched and wrote two papers on the topic of alternatives to incarceration for convicted criminal offenders.  She delivered these papers to criminal justice professionals from Asia, Africa, and South America at the 91st International Training Course outside Tokyo.  Both papers were subsequently published.

“Alternatives to Incarceration for Drug Offenders in St. Joseph County, Indiana, United States A Working Model, UNAFEI (United Nations Asia and Far East Institute) Resource Material Series No. 42, 151-169, December 1992 (Fuchu, Tokyo, Japan).

“Boot Camp/Shock Incarceration An Alternative to Prison for Young Non-Violent Offenders in the United States, 28 The Prosecutor, No 2. 15-22, March/April, 1994.


China was on Ms. Nix's agenda during Olympic Summer 2008. She traveled to Beijing where she taught a graduate course ( SOC690 Law & Society: American Perspective) to Chinese students. These students have enrolled at Valparaiso University to continue their graduate work in the U.S. Ms. Nix pioneered the new Beijing teaching component of a program that partners Valparaiso University and a private Chinese educational consulting company. She loved the Chinese people, but not the pollution ominously enveloping everyone and everything in Beijing.

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© 2008 C.A. Nix