When Joshua D. Kirshner ’04 proposed to his then girlfriend, Amy Rozenfeld ’04, he did what most men do: he took a deep breath, got down on one knee, took out a black velvet box containing a radiant diamond, and popped the question. On the surface, everything about the proposal was rather textbook. Everything but the location, which was Brooklyn Law School’s Feil Hall. Not exactly the most intimate of surroundings, but for Kirshner, who met Rozenfeld in law school and fell in love with her over case books, commercial outlines, and the occasional Kentucky Fried Chicken feast, Brooklyn Law School is the most romantic place in the world.
“I was shocked and I was so touched,” recalled Amy, an attorney in the Tax and Bankruptcy Litigation Division of the New York City Law Department. “It was so sweet for him to plan all of this. We have such good memories of BLS.”
Although the couple was in the same Corporations class, they didn’t actually meet until the spring semester of their second year of law school, late one rainy night in the student lounge. Josh was carrying a large umbrella with a handle in the shape of a dog’s snout. Amy was enjoying a little Kentucky Fried Chicken. “She said, ‘Nice umbrella,’” Josh recalled. “I told her I respected the fact that she was chowing down on the KFC.” The chance meeting led to a casual friendship. In January 2004, they went on their first date. Love blossomed, and almost six years to the day of their first date, Josh proposed.
“I was struggling to be creative with the proposal. I wanted to do something unique that would surprise her,” said Josh, a former Bronx Assistant District Attorney who is now the criminal law clerk to Judge William H. Pauley III in the Southern District of New York. “And then it came to me. We met at Brooklyn Law, we live here in Park Slope. Why not get engaged here?”
He thought it was a long shot, but contacted Dean Wexler on a lark. The Dean was thrilled to help. With the help of Rachel Rehwinkel ’07, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, Josh concocted a phony alumni event at Feil Hall’s Forchelli Center as the decoy.
On the night of the proposal, they arrived at Feil Hall and took the elevator to the event at Forchelli on the 22nd Floor. The doors opened to music playing and a table covered with name tags. Around the corner, a room with breathtaking views of the city was suspiciously empty—save for a bottle of champagne, two glasses, two chairs, and a large sign on an easel that read: Brooklyn Law School Alumni, 6pm: Cocktails, 7pm: Amy, will you marry me?” Amy turned around to find Josh down on one knee, ring in hand. Through tears, she answered: “Yes.”
Not only is their proposal sweet, it also inspired an exploration of the many unions in the BLS family. The following pages tell the stories of alumni from as far back as the 1950s who met at Brooklyn Law School, fell in love, and merged—that is, married.
Phyllis Mehler-Seavey ’52 and Robert W. Seavey ’52
For the Seaveys, it all started in the library. It was there that Robert Seavey first noticed Phyllis. “I was walking with a friend, and I looked to my right and saw the most beautiful girl,” he recalled. “I said to my friend, ‘Do you know that girl over there?’ She didn’t know her. So I walked over to introduce myself. I asked her to have lunch with me, and one lunch led to another.”
While Phyllis has a slightly different recollection of the events—she recalled that they were introduced by a mutual friend and first had coffee at the Automat—the two do not differ on how things progressed. “Robert was the most outstanding student in the school and editor-in-chief of Law Review. He was also tall, dark, and handsome, and on top of it all, a very nice person. I was definitely interested in him.” Shortly after graduating in 1952, the couple eloped, strolling over to the courthouse for a quick civil ceremony. Phyllis’s mother, disappointed that she missed her daughter’s wedding, threw the couple a “real” wedding on January 10, 1953. Three days later, Robert reported to active duty in the Korean War as a First Lieutenant in the Air Force, flying through California to Okinawa.