This feature is part of an ongoing series celebrating the diverse array of University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School students who make up our Law School’s uniquely collegial academic community. Together, students at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School engage in rich academic discussions, push the boundaries of contemporary legal thought, and work collaboratively toward our shared goal of upholding principles of justice locally, nationally, and around the world.
Veronika V. Pavlus is from St. Petersburg, Russia, where she earned her Bachelor of Law from Saint Petersburg State University (Russia) in 2019. Prior to enrolling in the LLM program at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School, she studied the U.S. legal system at Fordham University School of Law in New York, then worked as a legal intern in the Office of Audit and Investigations at the United Nations Development Program in New York. In that capacity, she assisted with investigations of alleged misconduct of the UNDP staff globally.
What inspired you to pursue your LLM?
As a law student in a civil law jurisdiction, I wanted to learn more about common law. I greatly enjoyed the intellectual challenge and experiencing a new culture while studying the fundamentals of the U.S. legal system at Fordham Law School. I then decided to pursue an LLM degree to further enhance my legal skills and understanding of U.S. law.
What aspects of your University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School experience have you found most influential so far?
I have had the honor and pleasure to learn from Penn’s world-class professors; they have been the most influential aspect of my University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School experience. Their willingness to share their expertise with students has been truly inspiring to me. I have also had the privilege to learn from my classmates who all have diverse personal and professional backgrounds and who have enriched classroom discussions by drawing on their experience.
How has Penn’s commitment to cross-disciplinary legal training impacted your education?
I benefited from the opportunity to deepen my knowledge in business and finance by pursuing the Wharton Certificate in Law and Business. I believe that the ability to think through legal issues also from the business perspective is a helpful practical skill for any lawyer.
In what ways has Penn augmented your understanding of how the law intersects with the public interest?
The Immigration Law course with Nicole Simon, Lecturer in Law and the Managing Partner at Landau, Hess, Simon, Choi & Doebley, helped me understand that the interaction between the law and public interest is often influenced by politics. For me, this highlights the importance of advocacy in cases where applicable law might yield unjust results. Also, I volunteered as an interpreter on a pro bono asylum case. I found this experience to be personally rewarding because I was able to have a positive impact on the client’s life.
What do you hope your University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School education will help you to accomplish?
I hope that my University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School education will help me to become a better lawyer – by allowing me to acquire substantive knowledge and refining my legal skills. For example, the seminars that I took helped me to improve several practical skills, ranging from drafting pretrial legal memoranda and comment letters to the Securities and Exchange Commission to negotiating the terms of plea agreements.
What is one thing about you most people don’t know?
I love classical music and enjoy playing the piano.
What is your favorite thing to do in Philly?
My favorite thing to do in Philly is to walk around the campus – it always reminds me what a privilege it is to study at the University of Pennsylvania.