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2012 LL.M. Grad Profiled in Spring 2012 Perspectives

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Ilya Kiryan
(LL.M. ’12)


Ilya Kiryan
LL.M. Class of 2012

Although his parents and older sister are architects, Ilya Kiryan, a 27-year-old Moscow native, is more intrigued with the nuances of import/export regulations than swooping arches and flying buttresses.

As a young boy, he studied French and English, and a classroom visitor from outside Russia's borders was always a treat. "If it was foreign, it was good," he says. His infatuation with the outside world led him to enroll in the Russian Foreign Trade Academy of the Ministry for Economic Development of the Russian Federation, one of the top-ranked universities in the nation.

After graduating with a law degree, Kiryan worked at firms importing sporting goods and pharmaceuticals, which led to a position as a senior lawyer at the Russian Agency for Small and Medium Business Support, helping foreign firms navigate the country's civil and administrative rules. He also learned about the importance of controlling currency fluctuations, tariffs, and customs regulations.

His experience has helped him navigate Russia's economic system, but other factors sometimes get in the way. "Russia is number one in corruption," Kiryan says. "Everybody knows it." The CIA's World Factbook agrees, citing a "high level of corruption" in the country. Kiryan wants that to end, believing Russia will experience stronger, longer-term economic growth as a result.

In the meantime, he's chosen to pursue an LL.M. degree in America. "The U.S. is country number one in the legal profession," he says. Among his favorite courses at the Law School are Corporations and Advanced Corporate Law. In between classwork, Kiryan is spending time with U.S. District Judge John Tunheim (’80), who briefs him on cases before and after court appearances. The experience has given Kiryan an inside look at the American justice system. He's come away impressed.

This summer, Kiryan plans to take the New York Bar Examination, pass it, and land a job with a corporation or law firm in Moscow. His future specialty: mergers and acquisitions. "I like M & A the most," he says. "This is the future for world business."