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Ukranian LLM Student Marina Nemirovska has Found Her Niche in Immigration Work


Marina Nemirovska grew up in Ukraine, living in Kiev, the capital of the country. There, she earned her master’s degree in engineering as well as her master’s degree in law.  While she worked briefly in the engineering field, she opted to pursue a legal career.  For 14 years Nemirovska practiced law in Ukraine.  Initially she worked as a corporate lawyer, dealing with customs and contracts.  After eight years of corporate work, Nemirovska opened her own firm to work as a private notary.  “Instead of mainly witnessing signatures, a notary in Ukraine works in a broader area, preparing all sorts of legal documents,” she explained about the nature of her work.  She did this work for six years before moving to Cincinnati. 

It was meeting her husband that fueled her decision to move to the United States. Nemirovska moved with her daughter and pets (including a big Newfoundland named Bronya) and a “bunch of luggage.”  Once here in Cincinnati, she started her education at the university, graduating with a paralegal studies degree.  When she heard about UC Law’s LLM program, Nemirovska initially wanted to investigate it for her daughter.  “My daughter received her law degree in Ukraine, but we moved shortly after she graduated,” explained Nemirovska.  “I thought the LLM program might be a good avenue to start to her career in the US.  Little did I know I would end up entering the program myself!”

Life in Cincinnati…and Kiev

Cincinnati is much different from her life living in the capital of the Ukraine. She noted that life in Cincinnati is much different than in her homeland.  “Here, if you want to work, you have to drive,” she stated.  “Back in Ukraine, I largely relied on public transportation to get around.”  But even though Cincinnati is very different, Nemirovska does like the area—well enough to stick around and establish her legal career in Ohio.  After she graduates this spring, she plans to take a bar prep course and then the Ohio Bar Exam. She is, admittedly, nervous about the prospect.  “The law here is very flexible,” she said, “whereas back home we have only the code, and that is it.”  She also commented that though studying the U.S. legal system a bit later in life coupled with the fact that English is not her native language may have contributed to the difficulties of studying law here, it was the transition from civil law to studying common law that has challenged her the most. 

Interestingly, Nemirovska’s time in the U.S. has changed her interests in the law.  She has developed interests in both immigration law and intellectual property.  In December, Nemirovska became a U.S. citizen and, when taking into account the current events in Ukraine, she does not plan on returning to the country where she spent the first chapters of her life. 

In fact, Nemirovska expressed an interest in opening a type of “center” for immigrants and international students.  She has found that, even being here for years, it is difficult to learn how to find a job, how to get a driver’s license, and how to meet people, among other things.  Commenting that there are very few Russian-speaking attorneys in Ohio, Nemirovska feels that this is one way that she can combine her life experiences with her legal training—both here and in the Ukraine—to help others.