While leading an Alternative Break trip to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, home of the US Army’s 101st Airborne Division, Chase Moore received a phone call.
“Ironic as it is, I got a call offering me a commission in the US Navy,” he said.
Moore, a native of Dallas, Georgia, will receive a law degree during spring commencement at noon Friday, May 10, and soon after will join the Navy as a JAG Corps officer. The college will confer 110 degrees this semester.
The Navy’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps is a body of commissioned naval officers who also are attorneys representing the Navy in legal matters related to military operations, military justice, and supporting Navy personnel and their families.
“Service to others is at the core of my upbringing and part of what drew me into the Volunteer family,” Moore said. “I see no more attractive way to use my legal education than to serve our country and the service members who work so hard to support it.”
The Fort Campbell trip is a coordinated effort between UT Pro Bono and Vols for Vets, a student-organized military law society. Each year, a small group of students visit the Army base to perform pro bono legal and criminal services, assisting active duty Army JAG officers in preparing wills and estate planning, reviewing contract disputes for soldiers, and doing legal research to serve soldiers and their families. The law students learn about the day-to-day life and the work of JAG officers and military law.
At UT, Vols for Vets provides legal aid to veterans and pathways for students to pursue legal careers in the military. The group raises money to support a scholarship in honor of Clifton Cates, a 1916 alumnus and the 19th commandant of the US Marine Corps.
Prior to his time at UT and after graduating from Maryville College with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and policy, Moore lived in Boston with his wife, Megan, and worked in energy policy and sustainable development.
“Seeing the work our general counsel did for the companies I worked for in Boston helped motivate me to pursue law school,” he said. “When it came down to deciding on a law school, UT made things easy by having a competitive price and generous scholarship program. But, most of all, I wanted to be back in Knoxville—it’s an amazing place to live.”
To prepare for a military career while in law school, Moore applied his contracts and policy background to an externship with Y-12 National Security Complex working for Consolidated Nuclear Security alongside the Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration that evolved into a full-time summer position. This semester, Moore holds an externship supporting the criminal division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
“I am thankful for the relationships that the College of Law has with both of those locations,” Moore said. “The positions are consistently held out each year for UT students. I was lucky to have faculty supporting me and making access to those positions possible.”
The externship with Y-12 is organized through the Office of Research and is supervised by George Kuney, professor of law. The position in the US Attorney’s Office is organized through the College of Law’s Institute for Professional Leadership, directed by Doug Blaze, dean emeritus.
“The community inside the law school is unparalleled. Every single faculty member I have interacted with has had mine and my classmates’ best interests at heart,” said Moore. “I have several professors who were more than willing to be a mentor, be a reference, or write letters of recommendation for me through this process of working toward a JAG Corps career.
“So many professors ‘went to bat’ for causes I have been a part of, such as Briana Rosenbaum, the faculty advisor for Vols For Vets, Doug Blaze, and Glenn Reynolds. The people that make up the staff and adjunct and permanent faculty are an incredible and invaluable resource to the students in the College of Law and the community of clients we ultimately serve.”
Karen Dunlap (865-974-8674, firstname.lastname@example.org)