Pennsylvania's New Power Couple

With this married couple’s story, you have to start at the beginning. They met on Kathy Boockvar’s first day of law school orientation, on her first night as a student, at an ice cream social. Jordan Yeager ’92, then a newly minted 2L, was volunteering to help with the orientation. “Doing my civic duty,” he says.

Jordan Yeager ’92, Kathy Boockvar ’93, their daughter Colette, and dog Zoie

“We hit it off from the first moment we met,” remembers Boockvar ’93. It was August 1990. They dated throughout law school, graduated, and married in September 1994 in Westchester in Boockvar’s home state of New York.

As newlyweds, they settled in Yeager’s home state of Pennsylvania. Boockvar, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, had already fallen for the Keystone State and was delighted to make it her home. For many years they were in private practice together.

Now the two are arguably the state’s newest power couple.

Boockvar serves as secretary of the Commonwealth, where she leads the Pennsylvania Department of State. She is responsible for the electoral process, corporate and nonprofit filings and transactions, and professional licensure. She also has an oversight role in state athletics.

Yeager recently was elected to a 10-year term as a judge for the Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. Sworn onto the bench in January, Yeager is one of 15 judges in the Bucks County court of general jurisdiction, where he could hear cases ranging from juvenile matters to major felonies, family law, estate administration, and civil cases.

Because of the intersection of Boockvar’s electoral oversight role and Yeager’s election, Boockvar recused herself from anything related to Yeager’s contested election and had no involvement in the campaign. There were no classic family portraits in his campaign materials.

But Yeager says their 21-year-old daughter went above and beyond. “She played a strong role in the campaign,” he says.

Yeager’s background gave him an impressive foundation to become a judge. He was recognized statewide as a groundbreaking civil rights and environmental litigator, including winning the first case in Pennsylvania history to recognize a constitutional right to a healthy environment. Similarly, Boockvar’s years as a voting rights attorney and executive director of a nonprofit women’s healthcare practice gave her a strong foundation with which to serve as Pennsylvania’s chief election official and to strengthen and improve professional licensure practice and policy.

Speaking together, such as when asked about the first time they met, their tone is light and playful.

Reflecting on their time in law school, Boockvar notes that AUWCL—and Washington, D.C.—was “a great place to study law, and a great place to nurture our relationship.”

Yeager emphasizes that the two “still maintain other friendships from that time of our lives.”

“It’s a pleasure to have our roots together,” says Boockvar. “It’s a special thing to be able to share.”