Arising Under


If I were telling the story of how I met Collin the way Ted Mosby would, I’d have to start with a little legal lesson on 28 U.S.C. § 1331, which grants jurisdiction to federal courts on all matters arising under federal law.

Back in December of 2007, § 1331 was the only part of my Legal Process outline that I’d completed. So when I met my friend Dennis to swap outlines one morning and he said, “I forgot I’m meeting with my study group, why don’t you join us?”, and they just happened to be discussing federal question jurisdiction, I obnoxiously stepped up to the chalkboard and started diagramming and explaining. I made about half of my best friends from law school that morning. And I made the connection that led me to the guy I will marry: I met Matt.

[Sidebar, I got a B- in Legal Process, which is tied with Ethics for my worst grade in law school. I studied extensively with Matt for both classes. Matt got an A in both classes. I think he won the award for best paper in Ethics, too. What. a. jerk!]

Just before Spring Break, when we handed in the briefs that marked the end of our first year legal writing class, Matt and I shared pre-noon shots with our study group. Later that afternoon I finally met his now-wife Carrie, whose first impression of me was that I was so drunk I passed out with a french fry in my mouth at around 3PM. If someone told her then this chick would be family one day, her head would have spun off her neck.

In our second round of finals in the Spring of our 1L year, I vented to the study group about some boy drama I was suffering from at the time. Matt found me in the hallway later for a private moment where he said, “Look, I know we don’t know each other well, and it’s probably not my place to say anything… but you deserve way better. Get out of this situation.”  This was when I started to think of Matt as a friend and not just the MVP of my study group.

So it was that by the end of my first year of law school, I felt comfortable calling Matt and Carrie my friends. We had some memorable hangouts that first summer. Carrie actually extended an invitation to Collin for the Flag Day party that I threw with my then-roommate Abby, but he was too engrossed with his studies to come. [Collin would later say, in a moment that definitely helped me fall in love with him, "She said you were fun and that I'd like you, but she failed to mention that you were also gorgeous."]

Matt and Carrie even met my little brother John that summer. It was hilarious to me when John was in for Christmas one year and I tried to introduce them and Carrie was like, “Uh, I met John back when you were my friend instead of my brother’s girlfriend.” Oops.

Anyway, the last Saturday night before our second year of law school began I had plans to celebrate Carrie’s birthday. It was Collin’s birthday too, because they are twins, but it took me a long time to realize that. The rest is history.

So Matt and Carrie introduced me to the man I’m going to marry, and I owe them, gosh, more than I can really conceive of for that. But beside that, they’ve been wonderful friends to me, and they’ve enthusiastically welcomed me into their family. We’ve shared so many happy fun times, from goofy house parties to their wedding to trips to California to our regular “family dinners” on Sunday night.

The gang, on the night Collin and I got engaged.

Matt and Carrie moved back to St. Louis today. We spent our last “family dinner” (special Tuesday edition!) stuffing wedding invitations. I think we were all grateful to the task for distracting us from how hard it is to say goodbye. Our lives won’t be the same without Matt and Carrie just a few miles down the road. Pittsburgh won’t be the same without them. But as much as I will miss having them around all the time, I’m so comforted to know they are family and will always be in my life.


  1. always…for ever and ever more………all ways ,always
    and the gift goes both ways

  2. Oh Robin… we love you so much. We’re so lucky and honored to have you in our family. Don’t tell the other gals who were with us that afternoon we met (this is Carrie speaking), but you were my favorite… french fry and all.

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