Vince Aprile graduated from Bellarmine with a B.A. in English in 1965. Vince graduated from
the University of Louisville Law School with a J.D. degree in 1968 and in 1973 earned an LL.M.
in Criminal Law, Criminology and Psychiatry from the George Washington University National
Law Center. After earning his J.D. degree, he spent almost five years in the Army serving as a
Captain in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps litigating at courts-martial in South Korea and
doing appellate work in northern Virginia. In June 1973 he became a public defender in the
headquarters of the fledgling Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Vince served as the Department’s inaugural director of its appellate section, its first director of
training and for seventeen years the agency’s general counsel, while also representing indigent
criminal defendants at trial and on appeal in the courts of both Kentucky and the federal system.
Vince retired after thirty years with the Department (1973-2003) and went into private practice
where he primarily practices criminal law. In addition to writing countless pretrial motions and
appellate briefs in his almost fifty years as an attorney, for the last twenty-five years (1992-2017)
Vince has written a column, Criminal Justice Matters, for Criminal Justice magazine, a quarterly
publication of the American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section, which is read by judges,
prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys, academics and others involved in the criminal justice
system. Vince also is a nationally known continuing legal education presenter, having trained
lawyers in over thirty-five states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada and Russia
(Moscow and St. Petersburg).
What other majors/minors/tracks did you have beyond English?
As a freshman, I thought I would major in history and did take some history courses. I quickly
realized that an English major would be more valuable to me in my intended career as an
attorney. I attended Bellarmine on a debate scholarship and represented Bellarmine nationally
for four years as a member of the varsity debate team. I also wrote reviews of movies and local
plays for The Concord, Bellarmine’s student newspaper. I also authored a humor column for The
Concord under a pseudonym. Debating and writing for the student newspaper complemented my
studies as an English major as each reinforced the others. While a member of the Bellarmine
varsity debate team, I devoted substantial time to coaching other team members. I also wrote a
short story for Bellarmine’s then literary magazine, The Flagon.
What is your current job?
Since 2003 when I retired after thirty years with the state public defender program, I have been in
private practice as a lawyer with Lynch, Cox, Gilman and Goodman, P.S.C., in Louisville,
Kentucky, primarily practicing criminal law at the trial and appellate level in both the Kentucky
state courts and various federal courts. I also do some civil litigation and administrative law.
In what ways was your degree valuable in preparing you for your career?
As an English major, my studies were valuable in enhancing my writing abilities, improving my
analytical skills, sharpening my appreciation and understanding of the human condition, and
expanding my sense of empathy. As a litigator, I rely heavily on composing persuasive, often
complex, motions and briefs whether in a trial court or before an appellate tribunal. From 1975 -
1983, I was an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville Law School, alternating two
seminar courses per year. One seminar that I created was Written Advocacy, which focused on
teaching law students how to write persuasive, analytical, and clear motions, replies, orders,
briefs, etc. I have been fortunate to represent four clients in cases before the United States
Supreme Court that involved writing petitions for certiorari and preparing briefs in advance of
oral arguments. I won two and lost two. I believe that my skills that are so important in jury
trials and appellate oral arguments were also strengthened by my studies as an English major.
What was your favorite experience as an English major?
Perhaps my most memorable experience was the result of my particular situation. As an English
major, I was the only student in my English seminars who had no interest in becoming an English
professor. I knew it, my fellow English majors knew it and my professors knew it. I was
committed to becoming a lawyer. As a result, I always felt, whether correct or not, that I
approached our English assignments from a different perspective than my contemporaries. Not a
better perspective, just a different perspective. I also feel that I benefitted so much from
experiencing the various analyses of novels and poems by my fellow students reflecting how
differently individuals process the same stimulus and reach such different conclusions.
Any advice for current majors or those considering an English degree?
My legal career has had many divergent branches, such as teaching at the college and graduate
level, training attorneys across the nation through seminars and programs, serving as a member
of two national federal court committees as an appointee of the then Chief Justice of the Supreme
Court, writing a magazine column for 25 years, and authoring other articles and a book chapter.
Throughout I have always believed that my liberal arts education at Bellarmine and majoring in
English prepared and seasoned me for any career challenge. The knowledge and mental
discipline that an English major can learn is a formidable educational background for a multitude