Making the Journey Together: Claire and Justin’s Story

zimmermanby Liesel Zimmerman, Class of 2018

Every year around Valentine’s Day, Get Wythe It shares the stories of students who are in love in law school, and that number is even higher than you may think. Statistically speaking, over 25% of William & Mary alumni end up marrying each other! While most meet their future spouses on one of William & Mary’s campuses, 2Ls Claire Hunter and Justin Lashley were already ahead of the curve when they applied. Having met in undergrad, they knew that the best way to tackle the struggles and triumphs of law school would be to do it together.

Justin and Claire first met during their sophomore year at Dartmouth College. At that time they knew each other as friendly acquaintances; it wasn’t until the fall of their senior year that they reconnected and started dating. Justin was the Treasurer of his fraternity, and Claire was the President of her sorority. In true fairy tale fashion, their organizations’ houses were right across the street from one another. As their undergraduate careers were ending, their story was just beginning.

JustinClaireAfter graduation, Justin and Claire worked in New York City for a year. Claire, originally from Australia, wanted to be closer to her family, so she and Justin then got jobs in Sydney. Justin was grateful for the opportunity to get to know Claire’s friends and family, and Claire enjoyed being home after years of studying in the United States. After about a year in Sydney, Claire and Justin decided that they wanted to go to law school. Rather than pursuing a long distance relationship, the couple applied to the same schools, planning to go together. Both were excited to find out they had been admitted to William & Mary. Though they loved city life, they knew they wanted to study law in a quieter, more close-knit community, which made William & Mary the perfect fit.

Justin and Claire came to the law school as a couple, but they are pursuing their individual interests, are involved in different clubs and organizations. They have formed groups of friends on their own, while sharing mutual friends as well. They enjoy having each other as a support system, being able to study together, and discuss all they are learning.

In March of 2015, after spending a nice day in Richmond, Justin proposed to Claire at College Landing Park, just down the road from the Law School. Many of their classmates and professors were surprised at the engagement, thinking these 1Ls had only known each other for a matter of months! But Justin and Claire’s story spanned several years and multiple continents. They are thrilled to share their futures with one another.

This summer, Claire and Justin will be returning to New York City for summer associate positions at large law firms. Though they’ll be in the big city, their firms are located only a block apart, allowing for lunch dates and shared commutes. With Justin’s family living about an hour outside of New York City, the pair plans to work in New York after graduating next year. In the future, they hope to return to Australia as well, to be close to Claire’s family. Wherever life takes them after William & Mary, Claire and Justin are excited to be making the journey together!

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