Profile: Chase Pritchett, Class of 2022

Chase Pritchett’s class in Antitrust Law with Professor Rebecca Allensworth was a defining moment for him.

Chase transferred to Vanderbilt Law in 2020 as a 2L to take advantage of the law school’s deep Law and Business curriculum and its national job placement reach. “I had worked in corporate finance at a major bank, and I knew I wanted to do something business- and economics- related, but I also wanted to do work I felt was impactful. In Professor Allensworth’s class, I realized that antitrust law was the perfect blend of my interests and background,” he said.

Chase entered law school in 2019 after working for five years at SunTrust Bank in Atlanta, where his stints in the bank’s risk management and regulatory compliance departments solidified his interest in legal dimensions of the economy. As a 1L, he realized he wanted to explore job opportunities beyond the Southeast. He applied to Vanderbilt as a transfer student because of its national reach, its strong Law and Business and litigation programs, and because it was located in his hometown, Nashville. “When I started my 2L year, I thought I might want to focus on consumer protection law or commercial litigation,” he said. “Then I took Professor Allensworth’s Antitrust class and quickly confirmed that intuition.”

Chase had the opportunity to take a second Antitrust class from Professor Allensworth focusing exclusively on Big Tech in spring 2021. “That allowed me to take a deeper dive into antitrust law and analyze how it applies to the modern, digital economy,” he said. He also worked for her as a research assistant.

With help from Assistant Dean for Public Interest Spring Miller,  Chase secured a full-semester externship with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division in fall 2021, supporting a new team focused on monopolization. “Dean Miller was contacted by someone at the Antitrust Division about a new full-time externship program, and she forwarded the opportunity to students who had indicated an interest in antitrust law,” he said. “The work we did in  Antitrust Law for Big Tech  turned out to be directly applicable to the work I did at the DOJ. My background in antitrust law, especially the Big Tech class, helped me get the externship, and it prepared me to hit the ground running.”

This spring, Chase accepted an offer to join the department’s permanent legal staff through its prestigious Honors Program after graduation. “The writing work I did as an extern last fall functioned as an extended job interview,” he said. “This is exactly where I wanted to end up.”

Chase acknowledges that transferring to Vanderbilt during the COVID-19 pandemic was challenging.

But he emphasizes that Vanderbilt proved an ideal launchpad, enabling him to find a career path he’s excited about and opening the door to his job at the DOJ. “Vanderbilt’s curriculum gave me options I wouldn’t have had elsewhere,” he said.

In addition to his classes focusing on antitrust law, Chase has taken Economic Regulation of Finance from Professor Morgan Ricks, a respected scholar of finance law, and other classes focusing on corporate law and financial regulation. “My classes have all been intellectual stimulating, and there were so many course offerings,” he said. “I’ve gotten to take every class I wanted, and I actually hate that there were some I didn’t have time to take!”