PUBLISHED:February 17, 2009

First comes law school, then comes marriage (and vice versa)

For some alumni, reminiscing about their time spent at Duke Law School is as easy as returning home at the end of the work day. Here are the stories of four married couples whose relationships have a strong connection to Duke Law. One couple married before they arrived at Duke, two met in class, and another pair came together through an alumni function.

The Argentina rule

Paul and Susan Rozelle ’99

Paul and Susan Rozelle didn’t discover romance at Duke Law School. They brought it with them.

The Rozelles married on July 30, 1994, in their native Orlando, Fla., two years before arriving at Duke. Now as then they believe that the key to a happy life is to have fun together. They find it better still when they can combine work with pleasure, as they did as law students.

When the journal notes competition rolled around following their first year, Paul and Susan rented a house at the Outer Banks and split their time between working on memos and playing on the beach. Says Paul: “That’s doing law school right.” The couple also regularly spent fall and spring breaks in Avon on the Outer Banks, where they honeymooned.

Day-to-day life as law students was more simple but no less enjoyable. Lunches at Bullocks were the norm, with special occasions celebrated at Angus Barn. The couple regularly shot pool with their housemate, Brandon Blevans ’98, and spent Friday nights playing cards with friends, who all shared the motto “Don’t change.” Post-law school reunions of the poker crowd have occurred regularly at weddings and other get-togethers.

The Rozelles took just two classes together: Civil Procedure with Professor Paul Carrington and Legislation with Professor Richard Danner. Susan insisted that they both sit in the front of the classroom together, which explained Paul’s reluctance to coordinate their class schedules moving forward. They shared housing and transportation but drew the line at sharing a Bluebook. Outside of the classroom, both were members of the Duke Law Drama Society, Susan as an actress, Paul building sets.

“Law school was a great time,” Susan says. “We know that’s not something a lot of people would say, but it was true for us.”

These days, Paul is an attorney at Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, while Susan works as a professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio. They have a four-month-old daughter, Sally.

The Rozelles emphasize that their relationship is an ongoing team effort. A marital compromise following graduation led them to Boston, a city for which they shared equal enthusiasm. Subsequent moves come with a stipulation known as “The Argentina Rule.”

“Career and job location changes after law school are much more difficult,” Paul says. “Our house rule is that when Susan’s job as a law professor requires a move, I get to go skiing in Argentina as compensation for having to take yet another bar exam. It’s not a bad trade-off, since Susan gets to go, too.”

Wisdom on the diamond

Amy and Mike Kolczak ’99

Mike always won their games of Ms. Pacman during their weekly lunches at Piper’s Deli, but even in defeat Amy still thinks fondly of the shared experience, one of many the couple enjoyed in Durham, including early morning trips to Waffle House and games of pool and darts at Doyle’s Sports Bar. Something special was brewing between Amy and Mike from the very start of their relationship at Duke Law.

Amy first noticed her future husband in Professor Katharine Bartlett’s small section Contracts course. Says Amy: “He was really hot.” Over time, Amy and Mike developed a close friendship that later turned into romance after Amy’s relationship with her college boyfriend ended.

Mike – who Amy describes as “not a joiner” – started attending events that his new girlfriend was involved with as co-chair of the Public Interest Law Society and Student Funded Fellowships. The couple played basketball together and, by their own admission, spent much of their third year on the tennis courts at Pinnacle Ridge apartments.

Amy and Mike also played on the same softball team during their second and third years of law school. A professor who was on the team told Amy that romantic relationships that exist prior to law school rarely make it through law school; however, those relationships that start during law school usually end in marriage.

The Kolczaks married on Aug. 14, 1999, the summer after graduation and now have two children, David Alexander, 2, and two-month-old Maxton Smith. Amy is a partner at Owen, Gleaton, Egan, Jones & Sweeney in Atlanta. Mike is the staff attorney for Fulton County State Court Judge Susan Edlein.

One of Amy’s favorite law school memories is of an annual Easter picnic she and Mike shared with friends at Duke Botanical Gardens. Those types of experiences helped shape her philosophy about the importance of enjoying your time in law school.

“As stressful as law school may sometimes seem, you actually have a remarkable amount of free time compared to when you enter the ‘real world’ of work, outside activities, social events, and family,” Amy says. “Looking back, all of the time that we spent at restaurants, bars, the tennis courts, the pool, just hanging out at each others’ and friends’ apartments was a fantastically leisurely and enjoyable existence.

“Also, make sure you spend plenty of time with your friends, both with and apart from each other,” Amy continues. “I value the Girls Night that I had in law school just as much as the time I spent with Mike.”

Ten years later, though they are spread across the country, Amy and her friends from the Class of ’99 still gather for Girls Weekends. Joining Amy on those trips are Jennifer Rogers (Philadelphia), Morgen Sullivan (Jacksonville, Fla.), Susan Chasnov (Los Angeles), and Jennifer Kinsley (Cincinnati).

Ultimately, not all of Amy’s law school memories are good ones. After their 2L year ended, Amy sent Mike a sappy email that she hoped would be the first one he saw when he returned from their summer apart; instead, several of her classmates gave it a look when she mistakenly sent the message to a law school listserv. The following summer, the couple found jobs in the same city and avoided any email mishaps. Shortly thereafter, they were married.

“I can remember swearing that I would not marry Mike unless I found a job in Atlanta during my third year of law school. Luckily, it never came to that,” Amy says. “Now, I have a great husband who is willing to take the time necessary for our family, and I am a partner in a wonderful law firm where we truly value time with family and for outside interests.”

Legal arguments

Anne and Jim Sherwood ’07

“It’s wonderful to find your other half in law school,” Jim Sherwood says.

For Jim and his wife, Anne, who married on Sept. 13, 2008, in Anne’s hometown of Wheeling, W.Va., some of the things they appreciated during their time in Durham were the good people, the good food, and the beginning of their relationship.

“We still crave El Rodeo on a regular basis and Randy’s pizza, but our biggest Duke Law moment was winning The Devil’s Advocate ‘cutest couple’ 3L superlative,” Jim says.
Jim met Anne Hazlett during orientation. They shared a small section, had all of the same 1L classes, were members of the same study group, and ultimately came to share a last name.

“Given that we had all of our classes together and were on our section’s softball team together, it was just a matter of time before Anne gave in,” Jim says.

Not that the extensive amount of time spent together was without its own unique stresses. Working on a Securities Regulation project together proved to be “a little intense” for the couple and produced heated arguments about Rule 144A, an exemption related to Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933.

Anne and Jim overcame their differing legal opinions and the challenge of living apart for a year after each clerked following graduation. Anne clerked for Judge Bruce M. Selya of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Providence, R.I.; Jim clerked for Judge William Bryons of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C.

The Sherwoods now live in Washington, D.C., where Anne works with Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr and Jim is an associate with Finnegan Henderson Farrabow Garrett and Dunner.

Looking back on his time in Durham, Jim advises that current students should “appreciate things outside of law school,” which he believes makes the time at Duke Law that much better. So what comes to mind these days when he thinks about his own experience at Duke?

“Good people,” Jim says. “Aside from finding a spouse, of course, we found that Duke Law is a great community of individuals.

“Oh, and El Rodeo,” he adds.

Alumni adventures

Urs Maurer Lambrou LLM ’92 and Myrto Lambrou Maurer LLM ’91

Myrto Lambrou Maurer LLM ’91 and her husband, Urs Maurer Lambrou LLM ’92, first crossed paths in 1997 at an alumni meeting in Brussels, Belgium. The couple shared a taxi and good conversation on their way from their hotel to a Duke Law reception.

“We actually were on the same plane from Zurich to Brussels, where I saw Myrto the first time,” Urs says. “I immediately remembered seeing her on the plane when we were waiting for the taxi. I was impressed about her appearance and the talks we had.”

“I found Urs interesting to talk to,” Myrto says.

Following that alumni weekend, Urs and Myrto kept in touch through business activities and alumni events, including a ski trip in the Swiss Alps. In 2004, Urs invited Myrto to spend Easter in Florence, Italy, and, in Myrto’s words, “Since then we are happily together.”

The couple married on Sept. 11, 2005. Urs specializes in corporate and IT law and has his own practice in Zurich and Zug, Switzerland. Myrto heads the international relations department of the Greek Patent Office and has her own practice in Athens, Greece. They have two daughters, Anna Alexia, 2, and Elena Sofia, 4. Myrto also has a 7-year-old daughter, Lydia. Despite their busy careers, Urs and Myrto keep their business engagements to a minimum when they are at home in Zurich, Switzerland, or on vacation with the kids.

Although they attended Duke Law at different times, they have similar memories of their respective times on campus.

Myrto recalls the “brilliant” professors, the Law Library’s huge book collection and inconsistent room temperatures (“[We needed] T-shirts during the winter and sweaters in the summer”), waiting in line for a parking space, and nights out in Durham and Chapel Hill with fellow international students. Particularly memorable for Myrto was a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court where the group of international students had a passerby take approximately 30 group photos, one for each person’s camera.

Myrto also enjoyed basketball games at Cameron Indoor stadium and bonfires after the team’s significant victories, experiences that were new to Urs.

“Before coming to Duke, basketball was not one of the sports which was on top of my list,” Urs says. “Soccer, ice-hockey, and skiing were my sports.” During law school, Urs organized a ski trip to Sugar Mountain for German, Danish, and Japanese students after showing the group pictures and videos from one of his earlier excursions to the “North Carolinian Alps,” known more commonly as the Appalachians.

“The Duke campus was extraordinarily situated with the beautiful Duke gardens, the woods, and the excellent infrastructure, but most of all I was impressed by the professors and their commitment to their job and that they were accessible for the students almost any time,” he says.