A family practices the human side of law

September 21, 2018

Andrew Knott sits behind desk at the law firm Knott & Knott, LLC.

Andrew Knott, JD ’03, a second-generation attorney, hadn’t always envisioned his future in a courtroom. The philosophy major seriously considered becoming an academic and even toyed with the idea of pursuing a career in finance. For Knott, however, a very important component was missing from each of these paths.

“There needed to be a human element to my work, something that might help individuals, one at a time,” he explained.

He decided the “family business” was the best choice. Knott attended Quinnipiac School of Law on a partial scholarship and graduated in 2003. Later that year, he went into practice with his father, John Knott Jr., at his law firm in Cheshire, Connecticut. By 2008, the sign in front of their office read “Knott & Knott, LLC.”

Today, Knott & Knott’s primary areas of practice include probate, trusts, wills and estates, as well as cases related to elder abuse and exploitation by caregivers. The firm’s roots, however, stretch back to the Campner, Pouzzner & Hadden law firm, founded in New Haven in 1933. John Knott joined in 1967, eventually became a partner, and after a series of retirements, became a solo practitioner and moved the office to Cheshire in the 1980s.

To date, Knott & Knott’s commitment to clients remains a central part of its identity. The partners represent many local and state charities and serve on federal, state and local governmental commissions. The Knotts are also known for taking on pro-bono and “low bono” cases.

In addition to its community ties, Knott & Knott enjoys a strong relationship with Quinnipiac Law. Two other law school alumni, Robert Santoro, JD ’15, and Elizabeth Holman, JD ’15, are current associates. “Rob and Elizabeth both interned with us and have been here since they graduated,” Andrew Knott said. “Over the years, I have had several Quinnipiac alumni work here, actually.”

While he provides a major source of leadership in his firm, Knott prefers the courtroom. “It’s more enjoyable for me to be in court, litigating,” he said. “It’s what I’m cut out for.”

Knott credits his law professors with helping him build a rock-solid intellectual and ethical foundation while the late Tom Ullmann '72, former public defender in New Haven, instilled in him the importance of courtroom decorum during an externship at Ullmann’s office.

The empathetic Knott keeps a stack of client thank you notes by his desk. These help him power through some of the more challenging cases inherent in his chosen career and help him maintain perspective.

“When you get a thank you note from your client, that makes it all worthwhile,” he said. “It reminds me why I do what I do.”

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