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Blame it on trial ad: love blossoms in Lugar Courtroom

MORGANTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA—Within the panelled walls of the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the West Virginia University College of Law, students learn from experienced professors and legal scholars deliver insightful lectures.

In Lugar Courtroom, surrounded by portraits of former West Virginia Supreme Court justices, is also where two law alumni recently declared their love and life-long commitment to each other in the form of a marriage proposal.

That is what happened on September 30, 2014, when Joe Fabie ‘14 proposed to Christi Fraser ‘13 in the very courtroom where they first met two years earlier—and she said “Yes.”

“I wanted it to be a surprise and I wanted it to be some place that had a special meaning for both of us,” said Joe. “We met at the law school, our relationship flourished there, and that’s where we fell in love—so I thought that would be the perfect place to propose.”

It was during the fall semester 2012 in Professor Charles DiSalvo’s trial advocacy class that Joe and Christi’s paths first crossed—although it almost didn’t happen. Christi was originally enrolled in the clinic capstone course, but decided at the very last moment to switch to trial advocacy. She insists the switch was not a mere coincidence, it was fate.

“I think it was one of those ‘what’s meant to be finds a way’ kind of things,” she said.

Although, according to Joe, it took some persuading to convince Christi to go out with him.

“I could tell she was not that into me at first, but she was willing to give it a chance,” he said. “Our first date went well and led to a second date, and the rest is history.”

Within a month of their first date, Joe and Christi were officially an item and tackling the challenges of law school together.

“When you’re in law school, you’re 100 percent in law school,” Christi said. “So we had so much in common.”

According to Joe, having his significant other by his side during law school was invaluable.

“It was comforting knowing that you had that person that you could vent to and really relate to about everything going on in your life,” he said. “It made everything easier.”

Since graduating from WVU Law, Joe and Christi have both started their legal careers in Pittsburgh. Joe works at Steptoe and Johnson PLLC and Christi opened her own firm, Fraser Law LLC.

The September evening of the marriage proposal began as a simple night out for dinner. Joe and Christi were on their way to Oliverio’s in Morgantown—where they had their first date—when Joe began driving towards Law School Hill.

“He turned towards the law school, and since it had undergone a lot of renovations, he said he wanted to check it out and see what it looked like because we were early for dinner,” said Christi. “Then he went into the courtroom and sat in the seat he was in during trial ad, and he had me sit in my seat. That’s when he proposed—right in the middle of the aisle in the courtroom.”

In addition to being the catalyst for their romance, Joe’s and Christi’s time at WVU Law was also instrumental in forming many lasting friendships. Several of their former classmates will be joining them on October 30, 2015, when Joe and Christi say their “I do’s” in her hometown of Charleston, South Carolina.

According to Joe and Christi, WVU Law is the place that helped make both their professional and personal dreams come true.

“It’s where everything started. It was like the stars aligned and I was supposed to be in that courtroom,” Christi said.

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