In honor of Valentine's Day and to celebrate Love WCL Week, we are highlighting wonderful stories of love and partnership born at WCL.
Christina Busso (’02) & Marshall Lammers (’04)
Christina Busso and Marshall Lammers met as cast members in WCL Law Revue the Spring Semester of 2002. “As students on a budget, we enjoyed some of the beautiful DC public spaces for an inexpensive date night. We found ourselves many nights walking through the Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral with a 7-11 Slurpee in hand.” And on one June evening in 2003, Marshall lit that little gazebo with candles and proposed. A beautiful and romantic backdrop for sure! "We’re grateful to WCL for the educational foundation it provided to us and to the community of friends it has given to us."
Veronica Puente-Duany & Josh Puvak (’07)
Veronica Puente-Duany and Josh Puvak met during 1L orientation. “Our last names were next to each other alphabetically, so in addition to being in the same ‘section,’ we were assigned to the same legal rhetoric group. We started off as friends and study partners, and the relationship soon turned romantic.” Their first “official” date was lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Bethesda, and they fondly recall lunches at Wagshal’s Deli where they would spend hours talking. Josh proposed during a romantic beach walk in Clearwater FL, and they were married in 2008. They currently live in Bethesda, MD with their three beautiful daughters and two dogs.
Maria Julia Milesi & Cristobal Fernandez (’14)
Maria Julia Milesi and Cristobal Fernandez met in 2013 when they were both attending WCL's International Legal Studies Program. Maria is from Argentina and Cristobal is from Chile. "We connected one night after class, while waiting for and riding the N9! It was a long wait at the bus stop and the ride was long too, so we spoke quite a while. Cristobal says he started Facebook stalking me after that. Our first ‘formal’ date turned out to be a snow day, and we ended-up going to…Five Guys, in Dupont, for burgers! We hadn't told our classmates that we were dating, so we would look at each other from across the table pretending there was nothing going on."
Julie Flammant & RJ Hamilton (’02)
“We met on the very first day of Orientation of our first year. Before I started, I had met another couple who had just graduated from law school and had met in law school. They joked that at least they weren't from the same section. Well, RJ & I were in the same section and became fast friends. We began dating in 2002 and on our first date, we enjoyed a delicious dinner at the Palm, where we found ourselves struggling to talk -something that is unheard of for either one of us. We made it through and RJ proposed in 2003 the day I got my results from the Virginia Bar. It was definitely a day to remember. We both loved our AU WCL experience- RJ even teaches Legal Rhetoric to 1L's at WCL.”
Nicholas Doyle & Kristen Rodriguez (’17)
Nicholas Doyle and Kristen Rodriguez met through their 1L section. “We first saw each other in Prof. Figley’s Torts class, first spoke in the cafeteria in the old building. For our first date, we went to Mussel Bar in Ballston. She bet me that her Miami Dolphins would beat my Buffalo Bills. The loser would have to buy the wine at our first date…well, I ended up drinking like a champ that night.” Some of their fondest WCL memories are, for Kristen taking Trial Ad with Christensen and getting a better grade than him. As for Nicholas, it’s the externship class they shared together during our 1L summer with a few of their friends. "Fast forward: WCL is responsible for two happy lawyers and our twin boys, Mason and Julian!"
Mike Spinnicchia & Jane Wetterau (’12)
“We met during our 2L year at a mutual friend’s birthday party at Mad Hatter in Dupont (very classy we know). We talked briefly that night, but didn’t really hit it off until we ran into each other at Bar Review a couple weeks later. Our first date involved our favorite food, Italian, and we went to dinner at il Canale in Georgetown.” Jane did most of the talking because Mike was exhausted from getting up early that morning to judge a Moot Court competition. Despite Mike being kind of a bore that night, Jane saw (some) potential and gave him a second chance. “A fond memory includes Graduation weekend, when the families first met and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner at our favorite restaurant (Filomena), and spent hours laughing, telling old stories, and drinking the complimentary Sambuca and amaretto.” Almost nine years later, we all still look back on that night fondly.”
Belen Crisp (’20) & Alexis Martinez (’19)
Belen Crisp and Alexis Martinez met on April 4, 2018 at an Office of Career and Professional Development (OCPD) Emerging Legal Career Panel and Networking event held in the Capital Atrium. “On April 7, 2018 we ran into each other at Barrister’s Ball and talked for most of the night mainly about our love of memes and the horrors of law school. We began dating shortly after that. We enjoyed our first date at Sushi Para in Cleveland Park. We both went for the ‘all you can eat’ option. One of us was unable to finish two pieces and is still teased about it to this day. Our favorite WCL memory was in Spring of 2019 when we took Federal Personal Income Tax with Professor Leff. It was the semester we got to spend the most time together and the only class we took together at WCL. That semester we became aware of our drastically different approaches to classes and studying.”
Lauren Mattioni (’19) & John Gerardi (’18)
“We first met when John appeared on a panel during orientation Fall 2016. He told a number of amusing stories about things going awry during OCI interviews (spoiler alert, he got the job) and I was charmed. We became friends when I joined the Italian American Law Students’ Association, which John was already a member. There were several times where we went out to lunch or out for coffee that John thought were dates, but I wasn’t sure. For our first date that we both agree was a date, we went for a hike in Great Falls Park. While at WCL, I was co-director of the Alvina Reckman-Myers First Year Moot Court Competition in January 2018. We were short on judges and, despite not being a member of Moot Court, John volunteered to judge and generally help out where we needed an extra set of hands. I learned that day that he’s an extraordinarily great catch. But the proposal didn’t come until chilly evening in November 2019, we went out to dinner at Das Ethiopian, one of our favorite restaurants.”
Monika Klinkman & Billy Vazquez (’19)
Monika Klinkman and Billy Vazquez met briefly through mutual friends a couple of times during our 1L year, and then got to know each other during the Summer Program in The Hague in 2017. “As a first date, we got shawarma together after a class in The Hague. Taking Evidence together – aside from the Hague Program—was a favorite WCL memory as it was the only class we took together. Being together definitely made going to class at 8:30 a.m. more bearable. In terms of proposal: We went to Puerto Rico for Spring Break during our 3L year. After a day at the beach, we walked along Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan, ending at the Raíces Fountain. Billy proposed at sunset while we looked out at the bay.”
JayNicole Irwin (’13)
Since we were in different sections, we didn’t meet until second year. As first date, we went, in typical DC style, for tapas at one of Jose Andres’ places. As to a favorite WCL story: Our third year, we were both in clinic at the same time (Tax Clinic for him, General Practice Clinic for her). One day, Jay was told he would be coordinating with the GP clinic on a bankruptcy case. He stepped into the client meeting room to join his fellow student attorney, and there was Nicole. It remains our first and only shared representation, so it’s a unique memory.” Fast forward a bit, and Jay proposes to Nicole on a trip to Paris, early one morning in a park just behind Notre Dame. “Afterwards we went to a bookshop nearby to revel in the moment, and just walk around alone together in a foreign city, before having to call and tell everyone. Having that morning of quiet calm together remains one of our most special memories.” They went on to get married in 2017, and now live in Denver, Colorado.
Simon Santiago & Cynthia Chmielewski (’96)
Simon Santiago and Cynthia Cham met in the fall of their second year, when they had many classes together and were both on Law Review. Their first date was the Law Review Banquet in Spring 1995. Their favorite WCL memory was actually as alumni in 1998-1999 when Cynthia taught legal writing and Simon was a guest speaker in one of her classes. They were engaged in Ixtapa Mexico in January 1998 while vacationing.
Mary Huff & David Wiseman (’10)
We met on the way to a 1L celebration right before our second semester. Our first date was a fun night out with fellow classmates at the Front Page. Our favorite WCL memory together was enjoying extra-curricular events, weddings, and vacations with fellow classmates.” David proposed to Mary with a family heirloom ring that he had selected for his mother when he was a child. He knew Mary would appreciate this unique and sentimental item. David is now in the hospitality business and a member of WCL’s Business Law Program Advisory Council. Mary is a family lawyer with Blankingship & Keith P.C.
Lee Silvernail & Nikki Waxman (’19)
Lee Silvernail and Nikki Waxman met in Professor Popper’s externship seminar in the summer of 2017. They did not connect until a bar review fundraiser a few months later… the rest was history. They had their first date at matchbox pizza on 14th street, her favorite. She was impressed that he sat next to her instead of across the table and he was impressed that she could eat a whole pizza in record time. A favorite memory was that Lee was a star witness for Nikki’s civil trial advocacy class.
Vadim Brusser & Lauren Janosy (’03)
Vadim Brusser and Lauren Janosy met at a WCL organized Capital Monuments tour a week before the start of 1L first semester. Their first date was at the Odeon Café in Dupont and then to the 18th Street Lounge. They have so many fond memories and have met so many fantastic friends and professors along the way. “To our surprise our engagement was announced publicly during Professor Ira Robbin’s Conflicts class, when he read from his student’s suggestion box!”
James Cowden & Kristina Badalian (’05)
James Cowden and Kristina Badalian are WCL Lovebirds and proud former students of Jamie Raskin's constitutional law class.
Olivia Luk & Jonathan Bedi (’05)
Met when Olivia spoke at student orientation for the incoming evening class in fall 2002. Jonathan noticed her and spent the next two years asking her out; and when she finally said yes, that was that. The first dinner date at Sorriso in Cleveland Park was followed by drinks at the Aroma Company. Olivia was dressed in court attire having come from an Inns of Court meeting. Jonathan didn’t mind, and they have been wearing suits for the past 16 years…until the pandemic. Their favorite memory was taking a study break in Olivia’s new convertible. The couple got engaged during a trip to Italy. Johnathan planned by proposing by the Trevi Fountain but a downpour and sinus infection ruined the plan. All was well when Olivia stated “this would be a beautiful place to get married” while visiting the Pantheon, and Jonathan presented the ring.
Amy Stewart (’04) & Andy Sonin (’05)
Amy Stewart and Andy Sonin met while performing in WCL Law Review where they made so many good friends… many of whom also later got married. Their first date was at their regular hangout, the Four Ps in Cleveland Park. They met for dinner but stayed for the live music “where we laughed, sang, and had a merry time.” Their favorite memory was at the 2004 Barrister’s Ball: “We walked around the monuments all dressed up, sat down by the reflecting pool and under a moonlit night exchanged our first ‘I love yous’. Andy surprised me with a weekend trip to the Finger Lakes where he proposed during a picnic on Cayuga Lake.” They have now been married for 17 years with two fabulous boys who fill their lives with joy.