When Nick Keller ’09 took an assignment as a law clerk in Bergen County, N.J., he found out he was clerking for Peter Doyne ’73, assignment judge, whose colleagues also include judges Gerald Escala ’57 and Robert Wilson ’76.
“Learning that Judge Doyne had graduated from Lafayette made me appreciate my clerkship even more,” says Keller. “Connecting with an accomplished, highly respected leader in the field is important and made more meaningful by the fact that he is an alumnus. It speaks to the strength of the Lafayette community.”
Keller, an international affairs and psychology graduate, earned his J.D. at Seton Hall. He has assisted Doyne with research on a wide range of cases, from open-records law and complex land-use disputes to probating wills and changes of venue for high-profile criminal cases.
Doyne leads by example, treating everyone who comes before him with the same respect, says Keller. “His commitment is unparalleled. He arrives at the courthouse at six o’clock every morning and stays late every night.”
Doyne’s other law clerks have included Philip Pucillo ’92 and Christine Socha Czapek ’02 and he has hosted several Lafayette student interns. “They all came with a proper respect for work, diligence of effort, and capability of thought,” he says.
Pucillo is lecturer in law at Michigan State University. Czapek, counsel for Robert D. Borteck, P.C., Livingston N.J., says: “I have found most alums attribute their success to their years at Lafayette. As a result, Lafayette graduates are, by and large, receptive to working with other alums or assisting current students.”
Keller says, “My experience illustrates the message: Stay active in the Lafayette community because you never know where it will lead you. The possibilities are truly endless.”
Doyne, a philosophy graduate with a J.D. from Rutgers, returned to private practice in May, retiring after 22 years on the bench. Keller will begin a law clerkship in the Appellate Division of New Jersey Superior Court in August. He says he owes the highly competitive appointment in no small part to Doyne.