Duquesne University School of Law

Christopher Murrer

From Duquesne Lawyer 
Fall/Winter 2014

Young Alumni Profile
Christopher Murrer, L’09

Home: Washington, D.C.

Undergraduate Education:
University of Dayton

Employment:
Tax and Wealth Planning Attorney, Venable LLP

What do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not training for a wide array of endurance races, I’m usually wishing that I were back in Pittsburgh so that I could sing karaoke at Cappy’s in Shadyside. I’m also involved in a charity called Team Tassy.

What is Team Tassy?

It is an awesome charity started by my friend (and former Survivor cast member), Ian  Rosenberger, and run by a team of amazing people who help prepare and place the poor of Haiti into good, dignified jobs so that they can pull themselves out of poverty forever.

Who is Tassy, and how did you get involved?

My friend, Justin Romano, L’09, was living in Pittsburgh with Ian and Tassy Fils Aime. Ian had met Tassy while visiting Haiti after the earthquake. At that time, Tassy was suffering from a large, life-threatening tumor on his face. Ian brought Tassy to the U.S., found doctors and raised money to help save Tassy’s life. So, I met Tassy when he was recovering from the surgery on his face and trying to learn English. If that doesn’t stick in your memory, I don’t know what will.

Even though Tassy was healthy after the surgery, Ian realized that the underlying problem for Tassy’s condition was the poverty in Haiti. So, Ian set out to create Team Tassy, which treats poverty like an epidemic that is “curable” through job training and jobs. I was immediately drawn toward this cause because it does not put Band-Aids on problems or simply “treat the symptoms.” Rather, it aims to truly fix the root cause of poverty—lack of employment.

How do you fundraise for Team Tassy? Team Tassy is a completely fun and light-hearted organization. They hold water-balloon fights as fundraisers and beach parties in Haiti for their Haitian team members.

In light of their unique approach to fundraising, Ian and I decided to run a five-day, 155-mile, self-supported, ultramarathon in the Middle Eastern deserts of Jordan. We carried our own food, gear and medical supplies, and slept on the ground. Our goal was to raise $50,000 to benefit Team Tassy, and by the time I returned to American soil, we surpassed our goal!

How did your legal education at Duquesne affect your passion for Team Tassy? Throughout my time at Duquesne, the Law School emphasized that, notwithstanding any personal success I sought during my career, it was equally important for me to use my skills and resources to help the less fortunate. Or to paraphrase something that Professor Antkowiak once said, no matter what career you pursue in this life, take time every so often to set something right. I try to keep those words echoing through my head.

How would you describe the value of a Duquesne University School of Law education?

The value is in the way it taught me to be pragmatic in my work. It taught me that laws are not sterile, ethereal concepts; rather, they are things of real, tangible consequences, and I should approach practicing law with that in mind.

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