In many roles at UVA Law, the student prioritizes teamwork

Chloe Knox loves being part of a team. During her three years as a student at the University of Virginia Law School, she worked with other members of the Federalist Society to organize a national conference, the Virginia Law Review edited alongside her classmates and coordinated with state officials to fairly prosecute criminal cases.

For Knox, who is due to graduate Sunday as part of the class of 2022, teamwork is essential to being part of a community.

“Having to work alongside your peers toward a common goal is really beneficial for your personal development,” Knox said, and “community is a huge aspect of feeling like you’re a whole person.”

At the Prosecution Clinic this school year, she worked on misdemeanor trials and felony preliminary hearings, including everything from reckless driving and impaired driving cases to battery, obstruction of justice and domestic relations matters. With the amount of responsibility she has been given, she can enter firm life with more experience than some partners.

“I was lucky to be in Madison County, where they gave me my own case pretty quickly,” she said. “It was wonderful getting to know the community and trusting each other to represent Commonwealth interests.”

She learned to work collaboratively with the sheriff’s office, state troopers, victims, witnesses, victim/witness advocates, probation officers, and defense attorneys. This experience helped her understand different roles as well as different perspectives.

“We often felt like a team working together,” she said. “I have definitely learned to think critically about what fair outcomes are – for the community, the defendant and his family, and for all of the victims in the case. There are so many interests to take into account in criminal cases and it is therefore crucial to think about outcomes from different angles in the pursuit of justice.

The ability to see justice from different angles will stand her in good stead as she heads into her federal internships. She plans to serve as a clerk for U.S. Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk of the Northern District of Texas during the 2022 term and for Judge Andrew L. Brasher of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals during the 2023 term. Thereafter, she will work as partner for Jones Day in Atlanta, where her family lives.

Growing up, she learned to team up with others in a variety of situations. Her family moved often and she lived in all time zones. Throughout her life, her family has taken in children, and she and her siblings have helped her parents manage a household of up to 10 people. Her family has also embraced the foster care system and she describes her youngest sister, Ana, as “a real gift and my best friend”.

After high school, she headed to Baylor University, where she was a college fellow focusing on political science and philosophy. After graduating with highest honors a semester earlier, she worked at the White House as an intern at the Domestic Policy Council, where she dealt with issues such as healthcare transparency and optimization. federal funding for foster families. She then joined the Civil Rights Office of the Department of Health and Human Services, where she assisted the legal team dealing with conscience and religious liberty complaints in health care.

At the White House, “I found myself surrounded by surreal experiences all the time – I couldn’t believe I was in the room when big decisions were being made. And working on issues close to my heart, like foster care, has been a blessing.

After her first year of law school, she landed another political internship, this time as a legal clerk for Senator Marsha Blackburn’s office, working remotely during the first summer of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She worked on Blackburn’s Senate Judiciary Committee portfolio, which included preparing background papers for committee hearings, drafting memos on whether to co-sponsor legislation, and reviewing Federal Court nominees. — all from the basement of her family home, she said.

As president of the Federalist Society, a group of about 215 conservative and libertarian UVA law students, Knox has focused on a return to a sense of normalcy for the 2021-22 school year. She thought it was important to rebuild community spirit and reestablish traditions largely forgotten by all but third-year students.

The group has hosted events like a formal fall reception with faculty, social hours with faculty and administrators, and professional development panels on topics such as journal essays and directed research. The section also continued to provide its own training in clerkship application and interviewing in addition to law school clerkship guidance.

Associate Dean of Student Affairs Sarah E. Davies ’91 saw Knox’s work ethic in action.

“What impressed me most about Chloe was that she took on the leadership of such a large organization and carefully delegated tasks so that her organization could achieve the goals she set for herself” , Davies said. “She kept abreast of any issues and stepped in when necessary.”

Knox called his work with the Federalist Society “the most rewarding experience I’ve had in law school.”

“Providing our members with a variety of events and opportunities has given me purpose. Working together to lead the best chapter in the country has been a great and refreshing dynamic because it goes against the classroom experience,” she said. “Rather than competing and working more individually, you work side by side.”

When the group hosted the Society’s National Student Symposium in March, Knox assembled a 54-member committee to organize the event, which drew 600 attendees and high-profile speakers from across the country, including the Governor of Virginia. Glenn Youngkin.

“We had everyone on deck and I really appreciate their hard work throughout the year,” she said. “I had friends from many other law schools, and I loved being able to show off Charlottesville, my school, and our chapter.”

The event was something of a return from the isolation that many in the community experienced during the height of the pandemic. The same week that classes went live in March 2020, Knox herself had a particularly isolating experience. After seeing doctors about what she suspected was an old knee injury, she unexpectedly discovered she needed surgery to remove a large tumor that could have been benign or malignant.

With surgery delayed until May due to pandemic restrictions, her decreasing mobility has made life in lockdown even more difficult. But his law school teammates stepped in, bringing him his groceries, cooking his meals and even doing his laundry.

The knee tumor was benign and it wasn’t long before Knox, a lifelong basketball player, was able to return to the court. She recently played in a three-on-three small section tournament, which was canceled in 2020 and rescheduled for this spring.

“I met so many friends from law school who were playing pickup at North Grounds Rec Center my 1L year,” she said. “Coming back to see old friends and make new ones was an amazing way to end my time here.”

One of those old friends was Ian Jones ’22, who she got engaged to last week.

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