In 2007, Amy Klobuchar entered Minnesota history books when she became the first female to serve as a senator for the state. A member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), Minnesota’s affiliate of the Democratic Party, Klobuchar was later reelected twice in a pair of landslide victories. A lawyer by training, she's been named to numerous leadership roles in the Senate, where she has earned a reputation for building bipartisan consensus to pass legislation that supports families, workers, and businesses. Prior to her Senate role, she was a prominent figure in her state. In 1998, after serving as a partner at two of Minnesota's leading law firms, she was elected as county attorney for Hennepin County, serving from 1999 to 2006. In this position, she was responsible for all criminal prosecution in Minnesota’s most populous county. In 2019, the Senator made national headlines when she announced her candidacy for the upcoming U.S. presidential election, although she suspended her campaign after a year. During her career, she has received a number of awards, including "Attorney of the Year" from Minnesota Lawyer in 2001. Furthermore, she is currently the highest-ranking female elected federal official to graduate from the University of Chicago Law School.
An exemplary student, Klobuchar was valedictorian in high school, and then graduated from Yale, before she enrolled in the University of Chicago's law program in 1982. There, she and her classmates were known as “the happy class." The nickname, it was initially assumed, was a friendly nod to their fondness for socializing, dancing, and costume parties. However, Klobuchar later learned that "the happy class" was meant to reflect the collective belief held by faculty members that the Class of 1985 wasn’t likely to produce many Supreme Court clerks. As it turned out, the students have already left a sizeable footprint in the world. In addition to Klobuchar serving as a senior U.S. Senator, her classmate James Comey headed the FBI, while another classmate, Randal C. Picker, became the Law School’s James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law. As a law student, Klobuchar served as an associate editor of the University of Chicago Law Review before graduating magna cum laude in 1985.
In 2016, Senator Klobuchar returned to her law school roots to discuss her new memoir, The Senator Next Door, which chronicles her journey from high school prom fundraiser to the U.S. Senate. The event, which was moderated by former University Provost and current Law School Professor Geoffrey Stone, rewarded the audience with keen insights into what it's like to transition from the Law School to the national political stage. On top of discussing her life as a public servant, Klobuchar also spoke fondly of her time as a student at Chicago Law, praising her alma mater for pushing her to be more proactive in discussions. At one point, she even acknowledged that the conservative views she encountered at Chicago Law had helped her achieve a bipartisanship outlook, which ultimately has served her well in her political career.