Jerry W. Kilgore



(804) 762-6916

(804) 762-6950

Washington, D.C.

(202) 463-2529

A former Virginia Attorney General (AG) and Virginia Secretary of Public Safety, Jerry offers his clients facing State AG and other governmental investigations the benefit of counsel with 360-degree perspective, gained through a combination of private practice, government service, and political involvement. His distinguished political career has afforded Jerry connections at all levels within State AG offices, and bi-partisan respect within the AG community. He has earned a reputation as a trusted legal and policy adviser on both sides of the aisle, and is politically active at the local, state, and federal levels. This diverse experience has honed Jerry’s ability to identify the appropriate route to take in any given circumstance to efficiently advance his clients’ interests.

Jerry advises clients — including market disrupters, companies in transition, industry leaders, and trade associations — in connection with important government investigations and consumer protection matters, and the interplay with Attorneys General and public policy. He is also a seasoned litigator and has significant experience handling multi-state actions. In recent years, Jerry has focused his practice on businesses in higher education (including for-profit colleges and universities), healthcare, cannabis, energy, timeshares, and the hospitality industry. Jerry also has significant experience in the FinTech arena, particularly with respect to products and platforms directed toward consumers, such as payment and loan technologies.

In all matters he handles, Jerry operates from a position of positivity, firm in his conviction that the challenge confronting his client can and will be met. He uses the insider’s perspective he gained from his service as Virginia Attorney General to navigate paths that might elude some — and to blaze new ones where needed — to reach a solution with which all stakeholders are comfortable.

As attorney general of Virginia from 2002-2005, Jerry served on the executive committee of the National Association of Attorneys General and as chairman of the Republican Attorneys General Association. He worked with the federal government, the state legislature, and other stakeholders to promote a business friendly environment. Jerry served as secretary of public safety under Governor George Allen from 1994 to 1998 and as assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia from 1987-1992. He also has significant prior experience as a state-level lobbyist.

Jerry donates time to building legislative and executive support for America’s Kids Belong/Virginia Kids Belong, a program to encourage the adoption of children out of foster care. He also serves as chairman of the board of Appalachian School of Law.



More Than 200 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named Best Lawyers and Ones to Watch By The Best Lawyers In America

August 20, 2020

Best Lawyers selected 201 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 23 of the firm’s nationwide offices for inclusion in the 2021 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© (Copyright 2020 by Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC).

138 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 28, 2019

Best Lawyers selected 138 Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 21 of the firm’s national offices for inclusion in the 2020 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

126 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 22, 2018

One hundred twenty-six Cozen O’Connor lawyers from 20 of the firm’s national offices have been selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.

State AG Practice Opens Virginia Office

January 03, 2018

The Virginia team will be headed by Jerry W. Kilgore, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s State AG practice and former Virginia State Attorney General. Cozen O’Connor’s State AG group is one of the largest and oldest state AG practices in the nation, with a focus on AG-facing investigations, litigation, outreach, and policy.

SupplySide West Podcast 59: Dissecting State AG Activities in Dietary Supplement Industry

September 19, 2017

Lori Kalani, co-chair, and Jerry Kilgore, a member of Cozen O'Connor's State Attorneys General practice, joined Josh Long of Natural Product Insider for his podcast.

100 Cozen O’Connor Lawyers Named to the Best Lawyers in America

August 23, 2017

Lawyers were selected for inclusion in the 2018 edition based on a rigorous peer-review that has been developed and defined for more than 30 years.

Jerry Kilgore’s Addition to Cozen O’Connor’s State Attorneys General Practice Featured in National Media

February 28, 2017

The expansion of Cozen O’Connor’s leading State Attorneys General practice with the addition Jerry Kilgore has been profiled by The National Journal.

Cozen O’Connor Expands State Attorneys General Practice with Addition of Former Virginia State Attorney General Jerry Kilgore

February 27, 2017

Cozen O’Connor is pleased to announce that Jerry Kilgore has joined the firm’s State Attorneys General (AG) Practice as a member.


2020 State Attorney General Elections at a Glance [Alert]

October 22, 2020

Jerry Kilgore discusses the state AG races taking place across the country, the outcomes of which will have a profound impact on their states’ constituents and businesses.

Virginia Adopts Workplace Safety Standards for the Pandemic — May be Coming to a State Near You [Alert]

July 30, 2020

Jerry Kilgore and Julia Hammond discuss Virginia's workplace safety standards to protect Virginia workers.

The Beltway Briefing Road to the 2018 Midterm Elections - Special General Election Edition

October 30, 2018

On this podcast, Cozen O'Connor Public Strategies Managing Partner Howard Schweitzer and Former Virginia Attorney General and member of the Cozen O’Connor State AG group Jerry Kilgore join Blake Rutherford to discuss the highlights of key incumbent and open seat races in the 31 State AG elections in 2018.

2017 Guide to State Attorneys General [Map]

May 05, 2015

The guide includes information on attorney generals in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Commonwealth, and Territories of the United States, including a photos, year first elected or appointed, political party affiliation, leadership positions and brief background summaries.

Industry Sectors


  • William & Mary Law School, J.D., 1986
  • The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, B.A., summa cum laude, 1983

Awards & Honors

Appalachian School of Law Access to Justice Award 2019

Best Lawyers in America 2019-2021

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia