Lawyers in Love: David Katz L’17 and Danielle Katz L’18

Although David Katz and Danielle (Wilner) Katz took two very different paths to get to the College of Law—where they met in 2016 before getting married in 2018—their journey shared one thing in common: each decided to attend Syracuse Law because of the quality education and collaborative environment it offered.

David, a Cornell University grad, knew since fifth grade he wanted to study law. Danielle, a Toronto native, had landed a job in guest service management after her undergraduate study in Canada but she needed more of a challenge.

So Danielle began researching law schools. She decided on Syracuse, which was the perfect distance from home, and is surprised even today at how much she enjoys living and working in Central New York as a change from her big city roots in Toronto.

“Syracuse is great. I love the person I’m with and the work that I do,” she says.

When David and Danielle met in the fall semester, neither of them thought much of each other. Danielle was just starting law school, and David was entering his last year.

But in the spring semester, David came across Danielle stressing over an assignment. He offered to take her to get something to eat. She agreed, but wanted to make it quick, thinking they would swing by McDonalds. But David—a local from Liverpool, NY—was a regular at Phoebe’s, down Irving Avenue from campus, so that’s where he took her.

“I was so stressed, I couldn’t enjoy myself,” Danielle admits.

But after Danielle turned in her assignment, she realized what a great time she had had with David. They became fast friends, so much so that when she couldn’t get home for Passover, David invited her to his family’s home for Easter instead.

“We weren’t dating, but his whole family thought we were,” Danielle recalls. Adds David, “My uncle pulled me aside and said, ‘You think she is just your friend, but there’s more to this!’”

Shortly after Easter 2016, the couple made it official and began dating. In November 2018, they took a weekend off from Danielle’s final semester and were married in Toronto. They held off on a honeymoon until after graduating and settling into their work lives.

Last winter, the Katzes were finally able to honeymoon in St. Lucia. Having had a great time on the Caribbean island, they arrived home just as the whole world was shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic. After almost a year on lock-down as newlyweds, they have not only survived but thrived during an unprecedented time.

The couple has the alumni community as a support structure and work they share in common and which they love. David is a civil litigation associate at Smith Sovik Kendrick & Sugnet PC while Danielle practices corporate transactions and trusts and estates at Barclay Damon LLP. They couldn’t be happier, they say.

“Because we don’t work in the same area, it’s really cool to get different perspectives on working in the same profession,” David explains.

“Essentially he goes to court and I don’t,” Danielle notes.