Arlene, who started off at the SEC, went on to become one of the most respected family lawyers in Los Angeles. She opened her own practice in 1972, handling a range of issues of law, from disso¬lution of businesses, to division of assets, to custody battles for a high profile, celebrity clientele. Arlene is a past president of the Family Law Section of the L.A. County Bar Association and served as a Judge Pro Term in Los Angeles County Superior Court. She taught family law as a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and has regularly lectured about issues of family law for the L.A. County Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, and the California Center for Judicial Education and Research. A passionate feminist, she is a founding and lifetime member (and former president) of the Women Lawyers’ Association of Los Angeles, a founding and lifetime member of the California Women Lawyers’ Association, the original incorporator and past chairperson of the National Women’s Political Caucus, and a past board member of the National Organization for Women.
Arlene Colman-Schwimmer '63 and Arthur Schwimmer '64
Arthur, who began his career with the Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the civil division in Washington, D.C., and New York City, credits his love for the law to Brooklyn Law School’s I. Leo Glasser (former Dean of BLS from 1977 to 1981 and currently U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of New York). “I was uncertain that I wanted to go to law school,” he recalled. “My father, Bertram, who is also a BLS alumnus, Class of 1931, urged me to give it a try. In my first semester I had Professor Glasser for torts. He is the reason I fell in love with the law and decided to continue on. He was a wonderful teacher, and I was hooked.”
Like his wife, Arthur went on to achieve substantial success as an attorney. In 1977, Arthur opened his own complex civil appellate practice in Los Angeles. Over the years, he earned a reputation as an acclaimed appellate lawyer. A past president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers and a member of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, he wrote and lectured frequently on California and federal appellate practice and was appointed by the Chief Justice of California to serve on the Judicial Council Advisory Committee which assisted in drafting new rules for the California Supreme Court.
Arthur and Arlene are both retired now and are enjoying the successes of their two children, Ellie, an intellectual property and corporate lawyer with Live Nation Entertainment in Beverly Hills, and David, a writer, actor, and director, well-known for his longtime role as Ross on the hit NBC series “Friends.” Looking back on their life together, they both recall the effort and the rewards. “Every couple finds their own way, but we had a real commitment to one another to always make our marriage work,” Arthur said. “We were two busy professionals, but we always made time for each other and for our kids and their activities. They were always our priority.”
“We each had our own professional life, and we had our life together, and I feel that that’s very important,” said Arlene. “Neither party has to give up his or her identity to make it work.”
Mark Harmon ’78 and Ellen Taubenblatt Harmon ’79
Love can be about many things: friendship, passion, and shared values, to name a few. In the case of Ellen and Mark Harmon, it was about all of the above, plus one more critical factor—real estate. “I came with a dowry,” recalled Ellen, who met and fell in love with Mark during her second year of law school, while they prepared for the Moot Court national team competition. “I owned a co-op in Brooklyn Heights, and I think he was immediately attracted to my apartment. His parents probably convinced him of the long term value of my real estate.”