Mike and Niki Trunk arrive at Temple Law School looking like they’ve just left the courtroom. It’s been a while since they’ve been in Klein Hall, and instantly they begin to reminisce. Niki points out the new Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame exhibit; Mike the furniture, artwork, and television screens. They both come to the same conclusion: the building looks quite a bit different than it did when they were law students in the late 1990s. Niki and Mike met on their first day of law school, and married after graduating. We caught up with them to talk about how they met, how they make marriage work as practicing attorneys, and of course, being an advocate.
Temple Law: How did the two of you meet?
Niki and Mike Trunk: We met on the first day of law school as 1Ls. We were in the law bookstore, which was originally located on the lower level of the law school. Mike came up to me and asked me a question about the different outlines and we just started talking.
Temple Law: How did you start dating?
Niki and Mike Trunk: We never had any classes together. Mike tells people that he “stalked” me through our three years of law school together. We did have mutual friends who tried to set something up but, of course, we could never get four law students to find time to get together. Mike had already graduated when we started dating. I had an extra semester because I was in the J.D./M.B.A. program. One night Mike happened to be out with friends and ran into someone who I was friends with and who I had a current class with, Joe. They started talking about girls in law school and Mike mentioned my name. Joe offered to set us up on a lunch date. The next day Joe came into class and asked me. I said “yes.”
Temple Law: Can you tell us about your engagement? It happened at the law school, right?
Niki and Mike Trunk: It did! Mike called Dean Esten and set up a ploy to get me to the law school. Dean Esten called me and said that Temple wanted to profile a J.D./M.B.A. student and asked that I stop by for an interview and photographs. When I told Mike, he said he had better get off the phone because surely they were trying to call him to profile him, since he tied for first in his law class. After Dean Esten asked me a few questions, she led me downstairs to the office where the bookstore used to be. I walked in and Mike was there. He then proposed to me… in the same space we met on the first day of law school.
Temple Law: That’s amazing. Is it difficult to balance your marriage as practicing attorneys, which often features changing (and long) hours?
Niki and Mike Trunk: Scheduling vacations or certain things can certainly be challenging at times, but overall, we feel it is probably easier that both of us understand the time commitments of each other’s practice. It’s also nice to have a partner who you can bounce case issues off of, or ask to lend another set of eyes or ears on an argument.
Temple Law: What is the most satisfying aspect of being an advocate?
Niki Trunk: I honestly cannot say there is one aspect that is more rewarding than others. I represent people who are injured and help them through difficult times. I represent the State of New Jersey in municipal court and worked for the State Comptroller’s Office and feel that I have made government better as well. There are so many rewarding aspects to being an advocate.
I think that’s probably the reason I defined advocacy the way I did. I think it encompasses all the different ways I enjoy being a lawyer and the paths I have found myself on thanks to my education at Temple.