Montgomery High School IB Program ’00
University of California, San Diego ’03
University of California Hastings College of The Law ’07
Assistant Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, Tennessee Office of the Attorney General
Considering Caitlin Doty’s affinity for community—among her family, friends, and business associates—is much like the age-old query of what came first, the chicken or the egg. While it’s clear that as an adult she appreciates her communities, it’s also clear that SCDS informed and supported her appreciation for developing community during the seven years (grades 2-8) she spent here.
Following a fast-paced post-SCDS academic life, Caitlin settled in Nashville to practice domestic law and, in January, she joined the Tennessee Attorney General office. Although far from Sonoma County, she’s enjoying familial community there. Three of her four brothers and her mom live in the area.
“Nashville has a slower pace. The people are inviting and warm,” she says. “I know all the attorneys in the bar here, and I see them a lot because I’m in court a lot!”
Caitlin’s community in Sonoma County includes her dad and another brother, and a slew of friends. Among her list of SCDS classmates she keeps up with are: Megan (Murray) Askew ’96 (“still my best friend after all these years!”), Jake Messing, Devin Andolsen, Emily Fitzpatrick, and Britta Purcell.
She also communicates with other classmates on Facebook, and she credits the social networking program with making it incredibly easy to be in touch. “But, think about it. How many other people are so in touch with their eighth grade classmates? We had a special experience at SCDS.
“SCDS fostered creativity and self-expression, and we were encouraged to develop ourselves as individuals and to celebrate our differences. And the kids in my class were nice to each other. We liked each other. We were encouraged to go places—amazing places— together. We went skiing, to the beach, camping, and so on and those experiences made our class closer.”
Caitlin also remembers being close with her teachers. “Susan Hirsch had the biggest impact, I think. My career as a student and lawyer has hinged on my writing abilities. Without her encouragement, I never would have felt so capable of using my writing skills to communicate my ideas.
“I also really liked how Mr. Nix engaged me with banter. He treated me like I was smart, and it made me confident. He told me that psychotherapy was going out of style so I would be an attorney…calling it long before it happened!”
“I’m fluent in Spanish now, but my studies began when I started taking Spanish from Sra. Copenhaver in second grade. I’m also big into traveling. I’ve backpacked in Europe and spent two months in Southeast Asia. I think my interest in travel was prompted by the multi-cultural celebrations held at the school and my willingness to travel is from the confidence I developed at SCDS.”
In her work as a lawyer, Caitlin draws on a personal sense of integrity that she developed at SCDS. “I think SCDS fostered and instilled values in us. As a class, we were strong and taught by example because the teachers were kind.
“Attorneys can be considered hired guns, just out for the money, but that’s not how I practice law. My domestic law clients were at their worst, most fragile, and most miserable. I dealt with some serious family issues—separations, divorces, post-divorce settlements, and serious family breakdowns. And, I’m really looking forward to working on behalf of consumers at my new job as a prosecutor of businesses that engage in unfair and deceptive practices.”
After all these years, Caitlin’s getting the last word in her ongoing banter with Founding Headmaster Nix about her future career: She has found a way to practice psychotherapy, it’s called law!