Valentine Reflections from Christi and Bryan

Christi Cassel (’08) and Bryan Skeen (’08) live in Atlanta with their two-year-old. They were voted “Cutest Couple” by their brilliant law school class. They celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary this year.

BRYAN: Christi was the last law student in our class that I saw.

CHRISTI: And Bryan was one of the first that I saw.

1LsoftballBRYAN: She was, as she so often is, fashionably late to orientation week.

CHRISTI: [rolling eyes] I missed the morning of the first day. Because I was on an airplane, flying in from the South Pacific. I had a good excuse.

BRYAN: That morning, Dean Reveley had mentioned that there was one unnamed student who would be late for orientation. He didn’t say why. Christi was already intriguing and a mystery.

CHRISTI: I went immediately from the airport, disheveled and jet-lagged, to the law school. In the lobby, my roommate introduced me to Bryan.engagement

BRYAN: Despite being disheveled and jet-lagged, she was striking and witty. The intrigue continued. I asked her out.

CHRISTI: And he was sarcastic and had piercing blue eyes. How could I say no? Our first date was to the Fat Canary, the nicest restaurant in Williamsburg. Bryan was clearly trying to impress me.

BRYAN: It must have worked. Two years later, I proposed to her after we’d had another dinner at the Fat Canary.

CHRISTI: In between those two dinners, we didn’t share any law school classes, but we were on the 1L softball team, were Moot Court partners, were on an undefeated fundraising flip-cup team, and shared countless adventures.

BRYAN: There were also lots of other dinners at the Fat Canary. I highly recommend it.

CHRISTI: We got married at The Homestead a few months after graduating, surrounded by lots of William & Mary friends. That was ten years ago.

familyBRYAN: So that’s the secret to happiness: Show up late, go after the disheveled, witty girl, and have lots of expensive meals along the way.

CHRISTI: And go to William & Mary Law School.

Lives Joined at Marshall Wythe: Jeffrey and Maribeth Lowe

by Jaime Welch-Donahue, Blog post reproduced with permission of the Communications Office.

If they had to guess, they would say that they probably met each other for the first time in the Law School’s lobby. As they prepare to celebrate their twenty- fifth wedding anniversary, Jeffrey Lowe ’89 and Mary (Maribeth) Baroody Lowe ’91 appreciate the special role Marshall-Wythe has played in their lives.

Jeffrey and Maribeth in 1991

Jeffrey grew up in Wantagh, New York, on the south shore of Long Island; Maribeth in Alexandria, Virginia. She worked for a Big 8 public accounting firm in Washington, D.C., after graduating from the University of Virginia. Conversations with her colleagues there, who were in the government contracts litigation support group, sparked her decision to study law. Jeffrey knew at an early age that he wanted to be a lawyer, and started law school the fall after he graduated from Cornell University. They met in the lobby when she was a first- year student, and he, a third-year.

“We both had a love of the Law School from the start,” says Maribeth. Both appreciate the education they received at William & Mary, and recall the friendly, supportive and collegial spirit among their classmates.

When she was a summer associate and, later, a young lawyer, it was clear to Maribeth that employers regarded the school highly for the preparation it provided students. “The Law School worked hard to give students the skills needed to perform in the workplace. That is a huge asset to the Law School, and it’s wonderful for the students and for the legal community,” she says.

A story begun at William & Mary

The Lowe Family

The family settled in Maribeth’s hometown of Alexandria and grew to include two children: a son, now a junior at Caltech, and a daughter, who recently began her freshman year at Northwestern.

Jeffrey is the Global Practice Leader of Major, Lindsey & Africa’s Law Firm Practice Group. He also serves as Managing Partner of their Washington, D.C., office, which he established in 2003, and where he leads the office’s Partner Practice Group. He previously was a partner in the Corporate & Securities Group at Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). Maribeth specialized in government contracts law at several D.C.-area firms, most recently at Crowell & Moring. She retired from practicing law as the couple raised their children and also helped to care for aging parents. Both have been very involved with The Campagna Center, with Maribeth serving on its Board of Directors. The not-for-profit organization provides before- and after- school programs for at-risk children in the Alexandria community, and also offers a variety of other programs to support children and families.

The Lowes remain in close touch with many of the friends they made during law school and with the school itself. Jeffrey is a trustee of the Law School Foundation and also has served as chair or co-chair of his 15th, 20th, and 25th reunions.

“We feel the stewardship of the school has been incredible, in particular during Dean Reveley’s and Dean Douglas’s tenures,” says Jeffrey. The couple has made gifts to the Annual Fund because they recognize that there are a number of challenges every law school faces. “We know the Dean and the Law School appreciate the flexibility to use the funds as they see fit to address those challenges,” he says, “and to remain nimble in a very competitive environment.”

Maribeth says it is evident that administrators and faculty take a personal interest in students, both while they are at Marshall-Wythe and after they graduate. “They get to know people as individuals and are very interested in continuing those interactions, those relationships, even into the alumni years,” she says. “I think that says a lot about the personality of the school and the culture that exists while you are there and afterwards.”

While the lobby brings back happy memories for the couple, they are aware that another locale played an even more important role in bringing them together: the Office of Admission. The story of their family began with acceptance letters from Associate Dean of Admission
Faye Shealy.

“If she hadn’t let both of us in, Maribeth and I never would have met,” Jeffrey says.