spotlight

Karen Mendalka Hoerrner

Hoerner weddingI met my husband, Mark Hoerrner, at BC Law, and we began dating at the beginning of our second year. After graduation, Mark went to a firm in New York City, and I did a clerkship in the Superior Court of New Jersey. For a time, we both worked for the same firm, for the same boss, but in different offices. (Mark was in the New York office of Mudge Rose, and I worked in its New Jersey office). Together, we moved to the firm of O’Melveny & Myers–again in separate offices, with the same boss. That was interesting. We both ended up working at different firms in New Jersey, and we were married by Father Jim Malley, SJ at the BC Law chapel in November 1994.

Hoerner familyWe have lived in Chatham, N.J. since 1995. We have three children: Ingrid (18), Caroline (16) and Philip (14). Mark is a partner at Budd, Larner, in Short Hills, a mid-sized New Jersey firm, where he specializes in insurance and reinsurance law.
I haven’t practiced law since Ingrid’s birth. I have never regretted my decision. For me, it was all or nothing. I couldn’t imagine practicing law and caring for my children. Over the years, I have taken on various volunteer positions, beginning with the newcomers club and the kids’ nursery school. As the children got older, I volunteered for the parent-teacher organizations in their schools. Several years ago, I began teaching faith formation at my parish, St. Patrick’s Church. I am a second grade catechist, preparing the children to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist. I also hold volunteer positions on the high school PTO and the Chatham Historical Society, and I work on the Annual Campaign of our local YMCA. I recently started working part-time for the director of religious education at St. Patrick’s.

While I enjoy volunteering and working at the church because it makes me feel like I am helping people and doing something good, I always try to put the needs of my children first, because they are my priority. I’m so proud of them. Ingrid, our oldest, is an incredibly talented artist. She just started her freshman year at Parsons, the New School for Design, in New York City. Caroline is a junior at Chatham High School, where she is an excellent student. She is also a cadet on the Chatham Emergency Squad. She spent this past summer studying to become a certified EMT. Philip, my baby, is a freshman at Chatham High School, playing on the football team and just beginning to chart his course for the future.

Mark and I have a very nice life here in Chatham. A few years ago, we moved to an old craftsman-style house on the top of a hill, across the street from a cemetery. We are planning a big renovation project. On a clear day, we can see the Freedom Tower in New York City from our front lawn.

Mark and I are looking forward to our reunion in November, and while we haven’t been very good at keeping in touch with our law school friends, we are hoping to catch up with many of you there.

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