Law student and his fiancee attend law school together


By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

With a goal of becoming a high school history teacher, John Brithinee earned his BA in history and political science from the University of Michigan-Dearborn.
But when he preferred research and writing for history classes and was less enamored of education classes, he switched gears and took the LSAT with his fiancée—and the two of them are now 2L students at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

“She was the one planning on going to law school, and it was watching her study for the LSAT that made me want to give it a try,” he says. “I know I would have loved teaching, but I’m confident I made the right choice.”

Brithinee is enjoying his time at Detroit Mercy Law.

“What I enjoy most is the feeling I belong to a community of people who care about you and who are always looking out for your best interests,” he says. “The small class sizes have given me the opportunity to work and build relationships with professors and administrators—these experiences have been invaluable for my development as a student and for reaching my career goals.”

Brithinee found Moot Court helped improve his skills as an oral advocate, and also challenged him to become a more effective legal writer.

“It’s been a great experience to get individual feedback from my colleagues and professors, which I’ve used to become a more effective advocate,” he says.

Recently selected as a member of the Moot Court Executive Board for the 2019-2020 year, he hopes to compete in a national competition next year.

“I’m very excited to work with my classmates to keep building on the previous success of the organization,” he says.

Brithinee, who currently is interested in business and corporate law, spent last summer at Cummings, McClorey, Davis, and Acho PLC (CMDA) in Livonia, assisting attorneys with small parts of larger cases, including researching and writing memos, and writing first drafts of complaints or interrogatories.

“It was a great experience to produce substantive legal work and gain insight into what the daily life and tasks of a practicing attorney are really like,” he says.
This summer, he is looking forward to gaining corporate and transactional experience at Kerr Russell in Detroit.

“The individuals I’ve met so far have been incredibly welcoming, and I’m extremely excited to become a member of the team,” he says.

During his undergrad years, Brithinee was a parks & recreation supervisor in Allen Park.

“I loved my city job,” he says. “As a young hockey player, every kid’s dream is to drive the Zamboni. I was lucky enough to drive the Zamboni and supervise the ice arena and recreation center for about 5 years. If I wasn’t working in the arena, I was working outside in the city parks.

“It was a great job, and I was truly sad to leave. I have some of my best memories working there, and I know that experience has helped shaped me into the individual I am today.”

In his leisure time, his favorite summertime hobby is gardening, growing everything from spinach, lettuce, and peppers, to sweet potatoes, blackberries, and grapes. He also enjoys exercising at a gym, riding a bike, or finding trails.

“I like to try to do something each day to break myself out of ‘school mode’ for a little while,” he says.

A native of Allen Park where he still makes his home, Brithinee is a graduate of Cabrini High School where he met his fiancée, Amanda Obrycki; the couple will wed in June.

“We began dating in high school, went to separate colleges, and then ended up going to law school together,” he says. “It’s kind of a unique situation going to law school with your fiancée. She’s been such an amazing supporter through all the challenges law school has brought. She’s helped push me further than I would have ever made it on my own, and I’m certain I would not have reached this point if I didn’t have her help and support through it all.”

Brithinee also has cheerleaders in his three younger siblings, his father who works at Ford, and his mother, a teacher at Allen Park Middle School.

“I’ve been extremely blessed to have amazing support and help through my law school career,” he says.