Biglaw, John Roberts, Merrick Garland, Romance and Dating, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Clerks, Weddings, Williams & Connolly

Legal Eagle Wedding Watch: Wachtell It To My Heart

Time for another romp through the New York Times wedding pages to survey the latest and most impressive lawyer nuptials. The height of wedding season is upon us, and this crop does not disappoint. We’ve got associates at some of the nation’s most exalted law firms! We’ve got Supreme Court clerks! Come for the romance, stay for the prestige.

Here are the finalists:

Elizabeth Murray and Webster Marquez

Iliana Ongun and Neil Chatani

Yeney Hernandez and Jason Wu

Colleen Roh and Gerard Sinzdak

Click below for details on these newly minted marriages, our analysis, and other couples that just missed the cut…

Elizabeth Murray and Webster Marquez
(Buy them a cookie sheet.)

The Case:
– Both halves of this California couple graduated from the University of Virginia, although they didn’t meet until well after they graduated. The bride has a law degree from NYU, but the write-up doesn’t mention where (or if) she’s employed. The groom is a winemaker — a skill we hope he didn’t learn at UVA, because Virginia wines are freaking awful.
– The bride gushes thusly about the groom: “[H]e doesn’t live inside a prescriptive set of norms that a lot of people you encounter seem to.” Stop it with that sexy talk, you lust-addled hippies!

The Case Against:
– Speaking of sexy talk: “I was sure he was gay,” says Elizabeth, recalling the night she met Webster. “It was my experience that the one single guy at the party ends up being my new gay bestie.” This is a good excuse for us to link to the seminal New York Post study, “8 Reasons Why New York Women Can’t Get a Husband.” Reason #5: “You spend too much time with your gay bestie.”

Iliana Ongun and Neil Chatani
(Buy them a pie dish.)

The Case:
– Imagine working in the same office as your spouse. Now imagine that office is one of the most elite, intense law firms in Biglaw. Yes, both halves of this couple trudge the diamond-strewn hallways of the legendary Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen, & Katz — she in corporate and he in restructuring and finance.
– They’ve been on parallel tracks for years. Both graduated from Yale, but they didn’t meet until law school at Harvard.

The Case Against:
– Neil was magna at Yale; Iliana apparently snagged no Latin honors (yet was admitted to Harvard Law School). At Harvard, Neil graduated cum laude, again outperforming his bride. If this pattern continues at Wachtell, she’ll burn out soon, and he’ll… burn out somewhat later.

Yeney Hernandez and Jason Wu

The Case:
– This bride and groom met while studying at Yale Law School. She was summa at Duke; he was summa at Princeton.
– Despite saying, before law school, that she “would ideally travel to Latin American countries and expose human rights violations,” Yeney is now an associate at Skadden. Maybe exposing human rights violations is more of a moonlighting thing.
– Jason’s at Williams & Connolly. No word on what idealistic goals lie crushed beneath his well-heeled feet.

The Case Against:
– This criticism comes from a place of love — because if there’s one thing LEWW adores, it’s Duke girls going to YLS and falling for cute Asian boys — but: We wish they’d put more effort into the photo, maybe warmed up the body language. It’s a little “awkward-freshman-takes-selfie-with-homecoming-queen,” no?
– The ceremony details — married by a civil magistrate, in his office — also impart a somewhat chilly vibe, as does their apparent lack of a wedding registry.

Colleen Roh and Gerard Sinzdak
(Buy them a garment bag.)

The Case:
– Who loves a SCOTUS wedding? We do! We do! This bride and groom met while clerking at the Supreme Court in 2011-12, she for Chief Justice Roberts and he for Justice Ginsburg.
– Colleen was summa at Columbia and summa(!) at Harvard Law; she also has a teaching certificate and a Master of Arts from Cambridge. Now she’s an associate at Covington & Burling.
– Gerry will soon begin work in the appellate section of the DOJ’s civil division. He graduated summa from the University of Scranton and has a JD from UC Berkeley.

The Case Against:
– At first glance, this union between the Roberts and Ginsburg chambers might appear to cross ideological lines. But note that Colleen clerked for Merrick Garland (D.C. Cir.), a top liberal feeder, before she worked for the Chief Justice. Maybe she deserves some of the credit (some would say blame) for Roberts’s Solomonic (some would say wildly unprincipled) opinion in the Obamacare case that Term? Or maybe the Chief Justice simply prefers to close his eyes and think of institutional legitimacy rather than strike down contested federal statues (see, e.g., Bond v. United States).

The Verdict:
– The Wachtell couple gave us just the merest soupçon of hesitation as we tripped over ourselves to award top honors to the SCOTUS couple.  We quickly came to our senses, of course, and hereby bestow this edition’s crown to Team Roh-Sinzdak. Congratulations to our featured couples — and to all the newlyweds!

Honorable Mention:
Alison Fielder and Christopher Porter (Michigan)
Kari Hexem and Adam Gordon (Yale)
Jane Gao and Connor Raso (2, Yale)

The Rest:
Lara Samet and David Buchwald (NYU, Harvard)
Jessica Cohen and Brian Benvenisty (2, Columbia)
Ailie Silbert and David Gold (Seton Hall)
Christina Murphy and Albert Pisa (UPenn)
Sarah Conde and Jeffrey Marcus (Georgetown)
Sascha Weiss and Scott Simpson (Michigan)
Joshua Gold and Joseph Harris (Cardozo)
Megan Chan and Jarrod Stuard (NYU)
Beth FitzPatrick and Brian Mulherin (Boston College)
Joy Han and Daniel Jones (Penn State)
Meredith Montgomery and Joseph Khawam (2, Columbia, Seattle U)
Kathleen Donovan and Kenneth Coffin (2, Notre Dame)
Jennifer Solomon and Joshua Alexander (Boston College)
Alexis Hoag and Brittany Soler (NYU)
Amanda Ross and Jonathan Zakheim (UPenn)
Chrystie Perry and Kenneth Holmstrom (Harvard)
Jennifer Levine and Edward Maas (St. John’s)
Tiffany Hall and John Rhea (Fordham)
Marjorie Galler and Steven Horn (Harvard)
Aliza Balog and Scott Goodside (UPenn)
Julia Balduzzi and Ryan May (Georgetown)
Laura Zoltan and Benjamin Reed (Michigan)
Beth Becker and Garrett Schires (Fordham)
Mary Ashley Anderson and John Heath (Virginia)
Andrew Forsyth and Joshua Goodbaum (2, Harvard, Cambridge)
Grace Northern and Tyler Hudson (Florida)
Ashwin Phatak and Timothy Wilson Jr. (2, Harvard, Emory)
Susan Shin and Eugene Jang (Fordham, Cravath)
Stephanie Herschaft and Daniel Palmadesso (2, Michigan)

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