LEWW is surrounded by packing boxes at the moment, and the cable guy is about to take away our modem, so you’re going to have to wait till we arrive at our new HQ to read about this week’s super-impressive newlyweds.
In the meantime, please help us crown August’s Couple of the Month. If you need to read up on last month’s four finalist couples, click on the link below. Otherwise, here’s the poll:
1. Sofia Yakren and Boris Bershteyn
(Buy them a meat fork.)
-The Elect make a triumphant return to LEWW this week: Boris just finished a clerkship with Justice David Souter! LEWW and Mr. LEWW happen to be friends with this fabulous couple, and we can testify that Boris is every bit as brilliant as his recent boss (and considerably better-looking). It’s a shame the NYT didn’t run their picture, because these two are just off-the-scales cute, not to mention wildly accomplished, unfailingly nice, and — particularly shocking for YLS grads — exceptionally modest.
- As you’d expect from a member of the Elect and his bride, their academic credentials are immaculate. They met at Yale Law School; Sofia was an undergrad at Yale and Boris at Stanford.
- Boris and Sofia were both born in the former Soviet Union. This really greased the wheels on our headline-writing process this week, although now that we think about it, we have a bad feeling that “from Russia” is grossly inaccurate, as Sofia was born in Latvia and Boris in Ukraine. Too late — we’re not giving this one up.
The Case Against:
- Trust us — there is nothing not to like about Sofia and Boris! (Not that we would bust on our friends anyway.)
2. Shauna Burgess and Jonathan Friedman
(Buy them a box grater.)
- Gorgeous Ivy credentials here: The bride was summa at Princeton; the groom went to Dartmouth (and we’re on the record about our weakness for Dartmouth folk). They both got JDs from NYU.
- Now they’re both NY Biglaw associates, Shauna at WilmerHale and Jonathan at Foley & Lardner.
- Both of their fathers are lawyers. Hers works at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; his is a partner at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman in New York.
- Remember your 9th-grade love, the one your mom used to drop you off at the movies with? What if you’d never broken up? For most of us, that dream died amidst the lush temptations of summer camp, but in Shauna and Jonathan’s case, young love endured. They met on a trip to the Galápagos Islands when they were 15:
Their affinity for each other was so great that dating — by long distance — seemed like the “obvious thing to do” even at that young age, Ms. Burgess said.
Throughout high school one or the other would make a monthly trip either to Scarsdale, where he lived, or Great Falls, where she lived. They spent much of their summers together. They went to each other’s proms.
In fact, when they visited each other during high school, each would stay at the other’s house. And so it went throughout college, commuting between New Hampshire and New Jersey to visit every month or two.
There were no tumultuous breakups, Ms. Burgess said. She speculated that one reason might have been that through e-mail and instant messaging, “we became great communicators.”
You have to admit that it’s a lot cuter than sniping at each other about the right way to pronounce stuff.
The Case Against:
- This isn’t directed at Shauna and Jonathan specifically, but we
get paid to study the NYT weddings section pretty carefully, and it’s our impression that there are swarms of NYU JDs every week, versus relatively few from Columbia. This week the tally was 5-1, a ratio we don’t believe is atypical. Given that NYU and Columbia are top-10 law schools with roughly equivalent class sizes (mid 400s at NYU and high 300s at Columbia), what accounts for the disparity? Are NYU grads more bragadocious? Better-connected at the Times? More conservative, and therefore less likely to shack up? Hotter, and therefore more marriageable? Help us make sense of this.
3. Catherine Holahan and Christopher Murphy
(Buy them a cookbook holder.)
- Catherine and Chris met as law students at the University of Connecticut. (She got her undergrad degree from the University of Vermont; he went to Williams.)
- There’s a strong Connecticut theme to this union. Their officiant was Ellen Ash Peters, retired chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court and a former professor at Yale Law School. And both spouses’ fathers are (or were) partners at Connecticut law firms, Catherine’s at Holahan, Gumpper & Dowling in Fairfield and Christopher’s at Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford.
- They’re both public servants. Catherine represents low-income children as an attorney for Connecticut Legal Services. Chris, 2002 law school graduate, could be a senior associate at some middling law firm by now, burned-out and anguishing over his partnership prospects. But instead, he’s joined the ultimate law firm — the United States Congress! The luscious lawmaker represents Connecticut’s 5th District. Instead of writing legal memos, he’s writing actual laws, strutting the halls of power, and basking in the adoration of naive 24-year-old interns. Well done!
The Case Against:
- It’s a bit pitiful that UConn Law’s Wikipedia entry lists Chris, a first-term Congressman, as one of its 11 notable alumni. (Another is Edward Kennedy Jr., son of Teddy.) Harvard’s distinguished alumni list, by contrast, includes six current members of the US Supreme Court and two presidential candidates.
4.) Lara Ballard and Gigi Sohn
(Buy them a culinary torch.)
The same-sex couples we’ve featured before in this space have fallen short in the prestige department. Not so with these big-league brides! Lara was cum laude at Georgetown and has a law degree from Columbia. Following a stint in the Army in the 90s, she’s a legal adviser at the State Department. Gigi was summa at Boston University and got her JD from the University of Pennsylvania; now she runs her own nonprofit.
- They’re saucy-cute. Lara’s ‘Bama bangs really work for us, and Gigi’s glasses are the perfect smart-funky accessory.
The Case Against:
- Gigi is not a great name for a lesbian — or, actually, for anyone. But the Baby Name Voyager shows us that the name had a big spike in popularity around the time Gigi was born, so we can forgive her parents if she can.