Brandon Moultrie and Liesl Griffin are two of our latest WMU-Cooley Law School lovebirds who met during law school and decided to tie the knot! They plan to marry in Clearwater Beach, Florida, in November 2017.
DID YOU ALWAYS WANT TO GO TO LAW SCHOOL?
Moultrie: I was part of a college basketball program and getting my master’s degree at Cleveland State University when I decided it was time to start looking into law school. I knew that law school was what I need to do because I really wanted to be in a profession that not only helped people but could make a positive impact on people’s lives. I initially thought that path was coaching basketball — either coaching young kids, high school kids, college kids or even professional athletes. But after going down that road, I realized other careers are more suited to help others. That profession is a career in the law. I took the LSAT and started looking into law schools.
Griffin: I have an entirely different story! I started out NOT wanting to go to law school. But I guess I really never knew what I wanted to do! I dabbled in a few jobs here and there after undergrad, then I quit a job working for a mortgage company to move to an opportunity in Houston, Texas. That didn’t work out for me, so I then returned to Los Angeles. It was 2008, and at that time the economy had tanked. It seemed like everybody lost their job. The only job I could find was a job at a worker’s compensation law firm. There were a lot of claims being filed during that period. During my time at the firm I kept hearing stories about the economy and jobs. They talked about the medical field, teaching jobs, and government jobs, despite thinking they were safe, they really weren’t. They were losing their jobs. The only jobs that were hiring were law firms. I started reading cases and getting involved at the firm. I found out fairly quickly that it was all very interesting. And the partners encouraged me to go to law school, especially after they heard I went to USC for undergrad. They were very persistent. I finally just took the LSAT. That’s pretty much my start to law school.
HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?
Griffin: We actually met at a party. It was our second semester during law school at WMU-Cooley, and a mutual friend invited us to a house party. We watched a boxing match together.
Moultrie: It was a Saturday night, and a bunch of us were big boxing fans. I don’t think Liesl was, but we got to talking together as part of the big group of law school friends. Many of us from the Tampa Bay campus were just trying to do extra things outside of classes to meet up and just hang out. We would hook up to play basketball or some other sport, or we would participate in the WMU-Cooley sanctioned events like the welcome back mixers and pro bono activities. For both of us, it really wasn’t love at first sight.
Yet by the end of our third semester, we had really built a strong friendship. It was gradual, and over time. We were in law school, and that was the focus and priority. Plus we were just enjoying our law school experience. Liesl is very athletic so that was a fun connection. We played on the flag football team together at WMU-Cooley. We started going to a lot of parties together. We would go to other events, like my Florida State alumni events. I remember fondly the time she took me out for my birthday in 2014. But law school was all encompassing and it wasn’t until after I graduated, and she was about to graduate a term later, that we started talking about taking our relationship to the next level.
HOW DID YOU MANAGE THE WHOLE LAW SCHOOL THING?
Griffin: We purposely stayed away from getting into a relationship during law school. We were able to maintain a friendship, which was important. I think it was a combination of things that brought us together as a couple, starting with us both going through law school together. As law students you spend a lot of time together regardless. You don’t have time to anything other than law school related activities. You know people because you may get to school early, and you’re sitting in the lounge, and you’re just engaging in conversations with people who are already there, or you’re talking about classes, and there’s always some sort of topic to discuss from a class you were in together.
Moultrie: Liesl is the one of few words in our relationship, and I am the one who likes to talk. But we balance each other out. I remember I was studying for the bar with her for hours, then hanging out to relax after. We needed that. I think we both feel, even though it’s something you don’t realize it at the time, what a close-knit group we had in law school. I’m not just saying that for the camera. You really do feel like part of a family. I appreciate that. People who haven’t been to law school or studied for a bar exam don’t realize what it’s like. We were there for each other and supported each other through it. The relationship was shaped over time and it was a combination of things that made our relationship whole.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW, OTHER THAN PLANNING A WEDDING?
Moultrie: Since I graduated in August 2015, and passed the February 2016 bar, I quickly got a job at the state attorney’s office of Hillsborough County, which is in downtown Tampa. I’m working as a prosecutor, along with several other WMU-Cooley graduates, by the way. I’m licensed here in Florida, but in a couple weeks I will be swearing into the D.C. bar.
Griffin: Right now I work for a law firm in Los Angeles doing legal work for them while I study for the bar exam. I’m learning a lot from that.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE GOALS?
Moultrie: My long-term goal, believe it or not, is to be a collegiate athletic director. I would love to practice for awhile, then consider transitioning into college athletics over time.
Griffin: After we get married, I plan to move to Tampa and look for a job in federal law, or possibly tax law or immigration law.
Moultrie: Well, we would like to start a family, but we have a rule. Let me tell you what it is. Liesl is Miss World Traveler. She has her father’s traveling spirit, as do I. The rule is that I have to take her to four countries that she’s never been before we start a family. I’m excited about the idea travel and starting a family so win-win for me!
Griffin: Right! And I mean countries, not just a quick trip to Jamaica, or something that’s an hour flight. I mean somewhere in Europe or Asia or another hard-to-get-to destination.
Moultrie: Yes! I think we’re looking a European honeymoon, maybe London and Dublin.