Won't You Be My Valentine? Couples Who Found Love at Law School

Among late-night study sessions and brief writing, some students still manage to find love in law school. In honor of Valentine’s Day, four couples who met as students at UC Law San Francisco shared their love stories. If you would like to be featured in next year’s story – send an email to: communications@uclawsf.edu.

Jayne and Carl Williams met at UC Law San Francisco in 1971.

Carl Williams ‘73 and Jayne Williams ‘74

Jayne Williams was a 1L when she met Carl during orientation week in 1971. Both members of the Legal Education Opportunity Program (LEOP), Carl offered to lend Jayne his case books, notes, and expertise as a second-year law student before inviting her to lunch.

“All of this was a thinly disguised effort on my part to ingratiate myself into Jayne’s orbit, for I was instantly attracted to her the moment I saw her standing in the registration line—an attraction that has endured for 51 years and counting,” Carl said.

Jayne said the attraction was mutual, “We were both attracted to each other — intellectually and personally — and our partnership developed into a deep friendship, respect, and romance.”

Carl and Jayne Williams got married in August 1972.

They studied together, discussed politics, engaged in activism, and frequented movie matinees, getting married in August 1972 before finishing law school. They have two children with successful careers in academia and the fashion industry.

Now retired, Carl previously worked for multiple government agencies, including as Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority. Jayne worked for 27 years in the Oakland City Attorney’s Office, including as the first female African American city attorney in the state. Both entered into private practice later in their careers.

Their advice to current law students? Jayne said, “Enjoy the law school experience – as intense and grueling as it may seem at times, you will look back with fond memories and may even find your life partner.”

Roger Dreyer and Carol Wieckowski met and fell in love at UC Law San Francisco.

Roger Dreyer ‘80 and Carol Wieckowski ‘79

When Roger Dreyer first saw Carol Wieckowski on campus in 1977, he said he was immediately drawn to “her radiant beauty.” But when he approached her in the school library, her body language conveyed she was there “to study, not socialize.” Undaunted, Dreyer said he introduced himself and saw her cold expression melt away when she realized his last name was the same as a popular local ice cream brand, Dreyer’s (no relation).

Picking her up for their first date, Dreyer arrived with a big tub of Dreyer’s Rocky Road Ice Cream and said jokingly, “Uncle George wanted you to have this.” Wieckowski said, “He did suck me in with that Uncle George story, which is why I never believe plaintiffs’ attorneys to this day.”

Roger Dreyer joined Carol Wieckowski at her commencement ceremony in 1980.

The couple dated through law school and got married in 1980 after graduating one year apart. They went on to raise four children, including third-year UC Law SF student Dylan Dreyer and alumna Natalie Dreyer ’19, who now works as an attorney at her dad’s law firm. Dreyer and Wieckowski separately co-founded successful law firms. Dreyer practices personal injury litigation and does civil trial work at Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora, LLP. Wieckowski primarily defends public entities at Evans, Wieckowski, Ward & Scoffield, LLP.

Wieckowski said law students who want successful careers and families must work hard, stay organized, find good child care, and try to maintain a healthy work-life balance when possible. She said, “You can have it all – if you’re willing to work hard and not sleep much.”

Simona Agnolucci and Elias Batchelder got engaged on their graduation day in 2006.

Elias Batchelder ‘06 and Simona Agnolucci ‘06

Elias Batchelder said he first noticed Simona Agnolucci at an orientation for new students but lacked the courage to introduce himself at first. The two were later paired together in a criminal law class and finally started talking. Batchelder said, “I immediately realized Simona was a brilliant and fascinating woman.”

Agnolucci said they immediately hit it off, “He was funny and his heart was enormous, so it was hard for me to stay away.”

After Agnolucci asked him to join her study group, Batchelder returned the favor, inviting her to a dinner party at his home. But on the day of the event, Batchelder said he realized that none of his other friends could make it. “Notwithstanding my logistical failings, I decided to proceed full speed ahead: surprising Simona with a candlelit dinner for two,” Batchelder said. “She forgave the egregious bait and switch, and the rest is history.”

Batchelder proposed to Agnolucci on the day of their graduation, and the two got married one year later in 2007. They have two children, who Agnolucci described as “smart, generous, and funny, like their dad.”

Batchelder is Director of Amicus Litigation at the Office of the State Public Defender and on the board of California Attorneys for Criminal Justice. Agnolucci is Managing Partner of the San Francisco office of Willkie Farr and Gallagher LLP, where she litigates complex, high-stakes technology cases and handles white-collar defense and investigations. She is the chairperson of the UC Law San Francisco Board of Directors and is on the boards of the Center for Gender and Refugee Studies and the Bar Association of San Francisco’s Justice and Diversity Center.

Their advice for current law students? Batchelder said, “Work hard, but for the sake of others.” Agnolucci said it’s important to build lasting relationships. “You are surrounded by smart, interesting people who will help you get through law school and beyond.”

Jennifer Freeland and James Wexler met at UC Law San Francisco and got married in 2016.

Jake Wexler ‘14 and Jennifer Freeland ‘14

Jake Wexler and Jennifer Freeland met in an employment discrimination class during their 1L year, but it wasn’t until a trivia night at a local bar with friends the next summer when the pair “really hit it off,” Wexler said.

“We soon discovered that we shared the same nerdy sense of humor — and even the same tendency to lapse into over-the-top British accents after a pint or two,” Wexler said.

Freeland added, “I had never felt such a connection so quickly with someone. It’s such a blur now, but I was struck by how easy it was to talk and laugh with Jake.”

That evening sparked the beginning of their love story. The two continued dating through law school and got married in 2016, two years after obtaining their JDs. They’re expecting their first child this summer.

Wexler now works for RPX, a company that specializes in reducing patent risk, as Director of Patent Litigation and Marketplace Intelligence. Freeland is a member of the UC Law San Francisco faculty, serving as Associate Dean of Academic Skills Instruction and Support.

To survive and thrive in law school, Freeland said it’s important to cultivate good friendships. She said, “When you walk across the stage to graduate, your fondest memories will likely be the times you spent studying, chatting, and just being with your classmates.”