A graduation cap, then a crown

September 25, 2023

Around The School

Photograph by Ana Lopez

After three challenging years in law school, only something exceptional will prompt a new graduate to put the bar examination on the back burner. Over the summer, such an exception came in the life of Katie Rose, L’23, when she fulfilled a longtime dream: She was crowned Miss Virginia.

Rose now plans to take the bar exam in February 2025. She will spend the upcoming year touring schools to talk about healthy choices, appearing at public events, and preparing to compete in Miss America. Her community service initiative, domestic violence prevention, grew out of personal experience and an independent study she did with Professor Janice Craft. She said she expects her legal skills and training to be an asset. Being Miss Virginia brings opportunities to meet with lawmakers and advocate for legislative reform, for example.

“The laws in Virginia [are] inadequate for victims of emotional abuse to obtain protective orders,” she said. “Some states have already taken that route, such as Connecticut. I would love to be a part of that change and a part of that reform as Miss Virginia,” Rose said.

A fellow Richmond Law graduate, Amanda Short, L’22, was the pageant’s first runner-up. Rose said the two noted their connection in a quick conversation in the moment they stood on stage as the final two contestants awaiting the announcement of the winner.

“We laughed and we joked,” Rose said. “We got to have a little moment where we were just both really proud of each other and proud to come from U of R and be making it to the very end.”