Colby Moore '11 Puts Aside Politics to Pursue Law Degree
Former Deputy Director of the Democratic National Committee Attends Emory Law School
Ever since the summer after his junior year at Christ School, Colby Moore '11 had a front-row view of Washington, D.C. politics. His work in politics began while serving as an intern on Capitol Hill and campaigning for Kay Hagan for the U.S. Senate. Since graduating from Wake Forest in 2015, Moore has worked in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the White House and the Democratic National Committee, serving in the Political Department during the 2016 elections and becoming Deputy Director last year. During his stint in Washington, this self-described "problem solver," held onto the idea of returning to school for a law degree – a dream that was fueled by some law professors at Wake Forest. After three busy years on Capitol Hill, Moore decided the time was right; he started law school at Emory this past August.
Question: Where did your initial desire to go to law school come from, and what was it about working in D.C. that reinforced that goal?
Answer: I always strive to be a problem solver and someone who operates within a system of rules to get the best outcome possible. So, law always seemed like a pretty good fit for me, even while I was at Christ School. I took a few classes with law professors during my time at Wake Forest and realized it was something I genuinely enjoyed learning and talking about.
Working in D.C. was a great experience. I got to work for and with a number of amazing people, as well as getting some opportunities I never could have imagined. After three years of being in middle of it and knowing the law school was something I wanted to do, I decided it was the right time to make the jump. Though I don't think I can possibly stay away from politics forever, I've really made an effort to focus on school this fall.
Question: Now that you a couple of months in at Emory, is it what you expected? What, if anything, has surprised you?
Answer:No matter who you talk to – attorneys or current law students – they make it clear that law school is a lot of work and they are correct about that. However, it does not mean you have to give up the things you care about, whether participating in extracurricular organizations, seeing family, or keeping up with your sports teams. I knew going in that a lot of law school is about being able to budget my time so that I could still do the things I enjoy.
I took a few years off in between undergrad and law school, so the most surprising part is that it took a little bit of time to adjust back to being in school. Getting back into the old habits of studying and note-taking does not always come naturally so it took some work to get back to where I was before.
Question: What do you hope to do with your degree? Is there a certain branch of law that interests you more than another?
Answer: Luckily, I'm still very early on in the process of learning the law and being exposed to all the different areas. Where I currently stand, I know I'd like to clerk for a judge when I finish law school. I'm not completely sure yet about what to do after that but working as a prosecutor sounds like a pretty thrilling role. I'm trying to keep my options open, but I'm sure I will know more as I complete internship and externship opportunities over the next few years. Ultimately, I would like to do something that allows me to constantly be exposed to new ideas and new cases, while also being able to work for the betterment of the society at large.
Question: How did Christ School prepare you for the future?
Answer: It's really hard to explain just how important Christ School is to me. The lessons the school taught me – from how to react when being pushed to your limit, how to budget your time, how interact with your superiors (teachers) when you aren't in a work setting (class), etc. – resulted in skills and traits that I've continued to refine over time since graduating. It was the foundation that was laid while at Christ School that was so valuable in putting me a position to continue to grow and succeed.