Alumnus looks for Ms. Right on TV reality show
By Matthew Coleman '11Douglas Kepanis '94 is no stranger to bad relationships. As founder of The Kepanis Law Firm, a divorce and family law firm on Long Island and in Manhattan, Kepanis has been exposed to the dark side of love.
"I must admit I am a bit cynical when it comes to relationships and the prospect of them lasting beyond the newlywed phase," says Kepanis. "However, I think, at heart, I am a hopeless romantic who believes in love. The question is whether or not love believes in me."
Kepanis posed this question to Patti Stanger, host of the hit Bravo show Millionare Matchmaker, when he taped an episode for the show's fourth season in New York. The episode will hit TV screens Tuesday, Dec. 7.
On the show, Stanger and her staff attempt to match single wealthy people with potential spouses. Stanger also provides contestants with dating advice.
Back in February, Kepanis received an e-mail titled "Casting for Millionaire Matchmaker," and, after almost mistaking it for spam, read it and decided to give the casting agent a call.
"I am single and, as I am 38 years old, I have been thinking more seriously about meeting a woman I can share my life with," says Kepanis.
The casting agent asked Kepanis if he would be available to shoot an interview to send to Bravo.
"I thought it was an amazing opportunity and scheduled to meet with them the next day," he says.
After filming the interview, the agent told Kepanis he had a good chance of making the show.
"With that, I put it out of my mind until May, when I received a call from the production company telling me they loved my taped interview and invited me to film an episode of the show for the new season," says Kepanis.
On the show he had to face Stanger, who has been called the "Simon Cowell of dating" because of her direct and sometimes in-your-face comments.
"Patti definitely has a way with getting her point across, and with me, she did not hold back," says Kepanis. "She cautioned me that I need to spend more time getting to know someone before deciding they are no good for me. She said I was too quick to move on to a bigger, better deal when the person I am getting to know could be the one."
Did her advice and matchmaking work? You'll have to watch the episode to find out. No spoilers here!
Kepanis, born in Queens and raised on Long Island, majored in political science at Binghamton and became fascinated in international law after a class taught by Otto Ulc, professor emeritus of political science.
"My favorite part of Binghamton was the good times I had with friends there, whom I am still friends with to this day," says Kepanis.
After attending Binghamton University, Kepanis moved to San Diego to attend law school, but left after a semester to pursue his dream of becoming a guitarist in a rock band.
"I was in a band for five years and, upon the band disbanding, I decided I would go back to law school," says Kepanis. "I graduated in two and a half years cum laude from California Western School of Law and served as editor of the Law Review and International Law Journal."
From there, he earned his LLM in international and comparative law at Georgetown University. After practicing with a Garden City, N.Y., matrimonial and family law firm, Kepanis started his own firm.
While Stanger provided Kepanis with advice on how to find love, Kepanis has his own set of advice for how to become wealthy.
He lists "persistence, a positive attitude, being gracious to the people in your life who are there for you no matter what, education, long hours and a little bit of luck," as ways to succeed in any profession.