Kathryn Weg Brandt, ’82, and
James E. Brandt, ’82
When Kathy Weg and Jimmy Brandt first walked into the Law Quad that late-spring day in 1979, they knew they were embarking on a profession. They didn’t suspect they would soon meet a future spouse (among many other close friends), find the perfect place for a wedding, and experience the time of their lives.
Life is good when you’re a summer starter.
“Being a summer starter is a very magical thing to do, because you’ve got the whole Law School to yourselves,” says Jimmy, and Kathy wholeheartedly concurs. The Brandts live in Scarsdale, New York, where they have raised three children, now 26, 24, and 22.
Each has deep roots on the Michigan campus. Kathy, an Ann Arbor resident since age 14, earned her BA from the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and had long aspired to attend the Law School. Her father, John, is the former head of pulmonary medicine in the U-M Health System and an emeritus professor at the Medical School; her mother, Mary, also attended LSA. Jimmy, a native New Yorker, is the son of two Michigan alumni, Hubert, JD ’53, and Frances, BA ’52, who also earned a teaching certificate here.
After graduation, Kathy and Jimmy, who had married in the Lawyers Club at the beginning of their third year in law school, went to New York City, where both still practice law. Kathy began her career as a litigator for Baer Marks & Upham, but sought more flexible hours when the couple started their family. Her father-in-law, lead partner in the New York firm of Brandt, Steinberg & Lewis, suggested she work for him while she decided on her next career move.
“That was 24 years ago,” Kathy says with a laugh. “It has been a wonderful fit for me, because I’ve been able to do interesting work and balance it around my family."
Jimmy started his law career with Cravath, Swain & Moore and in 1985 became the 15th lawyer in Latham & Watkins’ newly opened New York office, recruited by a friend (and a fellow Barrister, Jimmy is quick to point out). Today he’s the managing partner of the office, where he specializes in complex commercial and securities litigation.
As the place where the Brandts met, married, and attended annual Crease Balls—not to mention getting great legal educations—Michigan Law has always been a high philanthropic priority for the couple. Their name appears on the donor wall in the new South Hall, and they are longtime generous supporters of the Law School Fund, most recently with a gift in honor of their class’s 30-year reunion. The pledge of $50,000 to the Law School Fund brings their total giving to the Law School to over $200,000.
They are also keenly aware of the state’s long-term economic challenges and the
effect on its public universities.
“Michigan needs the support so it can maintain its place,” says Kathy. “We think it’s a wonderful school, and we hope that future students will have the same opportunities we had.