We’ve finally finished all of our Legal Eagle Wedding Watch write-ups for January. So it’s time to vote — rather belatedly, but that’s our fault, not yours — for ATL’s January 2007 “Couple of the Month.”
If you’d like to review the couples one more time, our original write-ups — with scores, links to their NYT wedding announcements, and photos (in some cases) — appear after the jump.
But if you’re ready to vote, here’s the poll:
1. Joy Chang, William Schaaf
Résumé score: 9.0. She has quite a pedigree: Yale College, Harvard Business School. She now works for Victoria’s Secret — as a director of brand merchandise development, not as an underwear model. He’s a graduate of Haverford and U. Penn Law, now working in trusts and estates at Cadwalader.
Family score: 8.9. The highlight: his father is a partner in the New York office of Sidley Austin. Nice.
Beauty score: 8.9. A fine-looking couple. She has fine features, and they both have great teeth. Sure, he looks like he’s still in high school. But at age 33, is that a bad thing?
Balance score: 8.8.
Overall score: 8.90.
Additional comments: Although they had no competition, Joy and William probably still would have prevailed against most couples — they’re quite high-scoring.
2. Kristina Daugirdas, Nicholas Bagley
Résumé score: 9.4. This is one of the highest scores ever awarded. Both are NYU Law grads — she magna, he summa. Kristina is a Brown and LSE graduate, a former law clerk to the exceedingly prestigious Judge Stephen F. Williams (D.C. Circuit), and a lawyer at the State Department. Tough to top, right? But Nick has managed to do so: he’s a member of the Elect, currently clerking for Justice John Paul Stevens.
Family score: 8.7. Her father founded a human resources and organizational consulting firm — solid. Her mother is a retired school superintendant. His mother is a retired accountant for KPMG, and his father is of counsel to a San Diego law firm.
Beauty score: 8.6. Their Times photograph can be filed under “trying too hard.” He’s peeking out from behind her, with his neck sort of hooked over her left shoulder. It’s a variation on the conventional “Siamese twins joined at the head” picture, but it’s odd because of the orientational shift. They look a bit Janus-like.
Balance score: 8.7. Even though he’s one of the Elect and she’s one of the Great Unwashed, her credentials — including that D.C. Circuit clerkship with Judge Williams — narrow the gap considerably.
Overall score: 8.85.
Additional comments: Judge Williams officiated. Very nice. Was Justice Stevens in attendance (or was he hanging out in Florida, as he is wont to do)?
3. Ann Leventhal, Jon Newman
Résumé score: 9.3. Judge Jon O. Newman’s résumé is impeccable: Princeton, Yale Law, clerkships on the D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court (OT 1957/Warren), stints in private practice and government (including service as U.S. Attorney for Connecticut) — and, of course, service on the federal district ench and then the Second Circuit (which he served as Chief Judge from 1993 to 1997). Ann Leventhal is a writer.
Family score: –. Little information about their parents is given. (Their parents are deceased, which is not completely surprising given that Ann Leventhal is 70 and Judge Newman is 74.)
Beauty score: 8.6. Leventhal and Newman are not spring chickens; they’re both septuagenarians. But they look good for their ages. He is WASPily handsome, in a Thurston Howell III sort of way. She has a nice smile and reminds us of a television actress whose name eludes us right now.
Balance score: 8.5. They could be stronger here. Judge Newman’s credentials are so amazing that it’s hard to match them. But they do share the experience of being widowed after long marraiges (more on that later).
Overall score: 8.80.
Additional comments: The story of how they met is absolutely adorable. Both were widowed after long marriages — Leventhal after 48 years of marriage, and Newman after 51 years of marriage (to Martha Silberman — any relation to Judge Laurence Silberman, by chance?). What happened next is history:
Ms. Leventhal recalls first becoming aware of Judge Newman in 1958, when she saw him debate William F. Buckley Jr. and L. Brent Bozell Jr. “I remembered him from that as being very attractive, but I was happily married,” she said. “I would see him and his wife at parties from time to time because we traveled in somewhat the same circles.”
“Very attractive” — well! Too bad he wasn’t on the bench yet; otherwise he would have been a judicial hottie.
When she heard that Judge Newman’s wife had died in 2005, Ms. Leventhal, who was by then a widow, said: “I waited six weeks before sending him a letter saying, ‘Would you like to have dinner with me?’ I gave him my e-mail address, so he could say no without having to speak to me.”
How cute! And shrewd — always give the other person your number, but don’t necessarily take theirs, so the onus is on THEM to reach out.
Also, we like the idea of a federal judge corresponding by email with a potential love interest. It’s the Article III version of “You’ve Got Mail.”
He didn’t say no, but, he conceded, “I didn’t have a precise recollection until I saw her.”
They went to a restaurant on April 3, 2005, and talked for seven hours. “And we’ve been talking ever since,” she said.
Seven hours? Now THAT is what we call an auspicious first date.
4. Daniella Steger, David Steinberg
Résumé score: 8.9. She graduated from Barnard (cum laude), and now works as a financial analyst at Coach. Hey Daniella — can you get us a discount? He went to Columbia for college and is now a 3L at NYU. He didn’t make our slate of NYU 3L hotties. But he is going to Davis Polk after graduation, so that countes for something.
Family score: 9.0. Her father is the chairman and CEO of a company that conducts clinical drug trials; her mother is the company’s CFO. His father is a cardiologist, and his mother is the executive director of Beth Tfiloh Congregation in Baltimore.
Balance score: 8.8.
Overall score: 8.90.
Additional comments: They’re a solid, stolid couple.