College of Law > About > News > student-spotlight-liya-levin
September 30, 2022 /
Posted in: Intellectual Property Law /
Liya Levin ('23) has emerged as one of DePaul Law's most remarkable students. Levin externed with both the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and among her most notable accomplishments is a winning placement at a national moot court competition and receiving an intellectual property (IP) law legal writing award. This year, she is serving as president of the Business Law Society, and she also began her tenure as an editor for both the
DePaul Law Review
DePaul Journal of Technology, Art & Intellectual Property. Anthony Volini, Levin’s 1L legal writing professor, says, “Liya’s performance in my first year IP legal writing course was impressive. It was no small feat for her to stand out considering the IP legal writing section attracts many strong students. Her academic successes combined with her positivity, professionalism and strong work ethic will undoubtedly lead to a successful legal career.”
Levin knew she wanted to be an attorney from a young age. Early in her childhood she gained exposure to the judicial system and became impressed with how attorneys fought for justice. She remembers going to the courthouse with her father and watching the attorneys passionately negotiate in the hallways, as well as occasionally being permitted to observe court proceedings.
However, her family hoped she would follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and enter the medical field. Her grandmother, one of the first female physicians in her Ukrainian village, instilled a heavy STEM focus in Levin, who ultimately earned a BS in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Despite that achievement, Levin never lost her earlier passion for the law, and she sought to “find the intersection between science and the law, which is how [she] came across IP.” She cultivated a strong interest in IP litigation and also is working on patent prosecution in her current coursework.
Since joining DePaul Law, Levin has become an outstanding representative of the College’s Intellectual Property & Information Technology Program. A key area in which the program helped her was through the specialized 1L IP legal writing section. As someone who focused on the sciences, Levin had not “written extensively since high school.” However, with Professor Volini’s guidance, she developed those crucial skills, and as a 2L, she won the Scandaglia & Ryan Excellence in IP Legal Writing Award and also published an article related to a trademark matter in the
DePaul Journal of Art, Technology & Intellectual Property Law.
Levin also has garnered numerous achievements outside of intellectual property law. This year, she is serving as a moot court teaching assistant to mentor the next cohort of moot court members. Her performance at the Hispanic National Bar Association Moot Court Competition also led to “invaluable personal and professional growth.” The experience enhanced her practical skills in advocacy and litigation, and she even performed in front of the judge for whom she would later work.
Her externships also are a source of great pride. As someone with a desire to litigate in federal court, she sought out roles that provided “hands-on experience” to learn how to write and advocate on the federal trial and appellate levels. As she explains, “It’s been nice to get a taste of what judges like and don’t like in various jurisdictions.” She remains impressed when observing oral arguments and “watching some of the best advocates in the country powerfully and strategically argue their respective sides.”
For current and incoming law students, Levin recommends being open-minded. Before law school, she worked at a both small and large law firms, obtaining experience in different practice groups and practice areas. Levin explains “there’s no guaranteed formula for success in law; focus on what works best for you.” She also advises students to seek out opportunities and not just hope for things to fall into their laps. “Don’t let a lack or absence of opportunities defeat you. Be positive. Be optimistic. If you really want something, make it happen. Life's just going to go by if you don't take action.”