It’s the end of the week, and we want to leave you with some happy news for a change. Here are two items about lawyers in love:
1. Former S&C associate bags a big one. As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, George Clooney, the most eligible bachelor in the world, is putting a ring on it. And he’s not putting it on a supermodel or an actress—but a lawyer: Amal Alamuddin. And not just any lawyer, but one educated at Oxford and NYU Law School and—most awesome of all—a former Sullivan & Cromwell litigation associate!
Reports the New York Daily News:
After passing the New York bar in 2002, she went to Sullivan & Cromwell and joined the white-shoe firm’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group, where her clients included household names such as Enron and Arthur Andersen. She was also a student clerk for then-Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, now on the highest court in the land.
Alamuddin now works for Doughty Street Chambers in London. When not jetting around the world with Clooney, she works on international human rights matters, including the defense of Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. (Seriously, how does she keep up her work when she’s been spotted in the Seychelles, Tanzania, New York and Los Angeles with Clooney in recent months?)
Anyway, as lawyers we should all be proud of Alamuddin. Her firm was so proud, in fact, that it officially broke the news of the engagement:
The barristers and staff of Doughty Street Chambers offer their best wishes and congratulations to Ms Amal Alamuddin, a member of Chambers, and Mr George Clooney on their engagement to be married.
It’s not often that a law firm makes this kind of announcement instead of the happy couple’s parents or PR agency. But how often does a lawyer get engaged to the Sexiest Man Alive?
I’m sure S&C would have done the same thing.
2. The Brady Bunch of Big Law? It’s awfully hard to follow a story about Clooney and his lawyer-love, but this is a sweet match too.
The New York Times reports that DLA Piper litigation partner Joseph Gregory Finnerty III recently married Clara Bingham, a writer and film producer, who’s the granddaughter of Barry Bingham Sr., the legendary editor and publisher of The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times. It’s a nice, mature love story in which both the groom and bride (he’s 54 and she’s 51—but both look fetchingly young in the Times photo) each have three children from prior marriages.
I was practically humming the Brady Bunch theme song but then I stopped when I read about the couple’s unorthodox post-wedding living arrangement. Reports the Times:
Because their lives and their children’s lives are so entrenched in their current neighborhoods, they will continue to live separately (she on the Upper West Side, he in Brooklyn) and see each other when they can. They say it was a decision made out of necessity.
I’m not sure what “necessity” means but you have to wonder if it’s just too darn expensive to get a place in New York that can hold six kids. Unless you’re a partner at Wachtell Lipton or Quinn Emmanuel, it’s hard for the typical Big Law partner to afford a commodious place without retreating to the suburbs or resorting to insider trading.
In any case, Bingham is philosophical about the arrangement. She tells the Times: “There’s that Samuel Johnson quote that second marriages are ‘the triumph of hope over experience.’ I like the idea that having some autonomy and independence can keep the marriage alive. I want to make sure that we don’t suffocate each other.”
Congrats happy couples.
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