Alumni Profile: Caroline Fox, L'13

February 25, 2021

Alum prioritizes service and efficiency as creative business attorney

As an undergraduate at Elon University, Caroline Fox, L’13, first considered pursuing a career as an attorney after taking a legal course as part of her public relations and communications studies. Students received “a little taste of everything,” explained Fox, from First Amendment law to lessons in copyright and brand protection. “When I got to law school, I knew I wanted to focus on those areas,” she said. Today, Fox specializes in those same areas through her own practice in Richmond.

From the start, intellectual property law and entertainment law appealed to Fox’s creative side. She chose Professor Jim Gibson’s intellectual property course as an elective during her 1L year, and immediately found that “this is exactly what I love,” she explained. “I like that it satisfied both the left brain and the right brain.”

Fox soon put her lawyerly powers of persuasion to work in her search for a summer job, convincing a major advertising agency to create an internship for her. She was interested in learning more about in-house practice at a creative agency, and had the opportunity to work with other lawyers on the team. “My boss had gone to law school,” explained Fox. “She gave me a lot of inspiration that I could really do what I wanted with [a law degree].” 

A second internship with musicians’ rights group Future of Music in Washington, D.C., gave Fox another insider glimpse, this time into music copyright issues. But it was actually at an externship at Sands Anderson in Richmond where Fox decided on the next steps in her career path. Fox found that a law firm “can be a really cool and fulfilling and wonderful environment to be in.”

Following graduation, Fox worked in business affairs for Sony Music Entertainment before accepting a position at the Creekmore Law Firm. “I got a really good taste of a lot of different areas and ways to practice before I settled on what I was going to do and came back to Richmond,” said Fox. She launched her own firm, CJFox Law, in 2017. “I knew what I wanted to do and who I wanted to work with,” said Fox, so the concept of charting her own course was appealing. Plus, at that stage in her life, “I had the opportunity to attack it and spend the time” to start her own business, said Fox. “I was tech savvy, I knew how to have low overhead, I knew how to utilize technology.” 

Those skills were key to success in the launch of her firm – and ones that she constantly looks to improve upon. “I’m very big on efficiency,” said Fox, and the ability to maximize efficiencies was a benefit of private practice. But more than that, it’s the individual client relationships that drew her to setting up her own shop. “If I have clients that are in really tense or crazy matters – we’ll talk at night, on the weekends.” Focusing on areas from small businesses to contracts and advertising law, Fox gets to know her clients and customizes her work to their needs. 

“When I was younger, I felt very much like I had to act a certain way, or I had to prove myself all the time to get them to take me seriously,” said Fox. Now that she’s running her own show, “it’s great that I can be the type of lawyer I want to be and work with the type of clients I want to work with.”