For Marshall Read L’22 and Gabriella Kielbasinski L’22, the path to law school was quite different.
Gabriella, a Syracuse native, found law’s calling unexpectedly. Exposed to family court as a child, she had an attorney who made her “feel seen, heard, and advocated for,” igniting a lifelong desire to champion others. That experience solidified her purpose and inspired her to pursue a profession where she could advocate for those in need, just as her attorney did for her all those years ago.
Marshall’s journey was fueled by a different flame. As a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, he was a debater with a rebellious streak and saw public defense as the ultimate act of defiance: “There was nothing more punk rock than getting paid…to fight the man,” and so, he set his sights on law school.
Although their paths to Syracuse Law were distinct, both Gabriella and Marshall were driven by a shared desire to fight for the underprivileged. Fate brought them together even before their first class, at an Admitted Students event. Despite the brevity of their initial encounter, Gabriella still remembers how Marshall stood out in his beanie and flannel shirt amidst a sea of suits.
For Marshall, love-struck during their 1L Fall class election when Gabriella confidently captivated the room with her campaign speech for class president. He remembers a clear-cut moment of realization: “Wow, it’s her! She’s it!” For Gabriella, however, it wasn’t a single defining moment. Instead, it was the good morning texts during their first year of law school, the reassurance during the anxious months of bar prep, and Marshall’s unwavering support during hard times that showed her what true partnership looked like.
In December 2023, their bond deepened as they got engaged. Both find solace and understanding in their shared career path. As Marshall aptly puts it, “It’s nice to come home to someone who understands what your day has been like…there’s a grace and understanding.”
Both Gabriella and Marshall acknowledge the impact that Syracuse Law has made on their lives. Through their experience as law students, they received opportunities that led to fulfilling careers, made lifelong friends and mentors, and, most importantly, found each other. When offering advice to current law students, Marshall playfully offers: “Be nice to the smart ones with curly hair. They may be the one.”