Marc Baranov: A 3L with Political Aspirations by LawCrossing


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STUDENT PROFILE                                                                                        1. 800.973.1177

                            Marc Baranov: A 3L with Political Aspirations
                            [By Mahsa Khalilifari]
                            Marc Baranov is starting his third year of law school, and at the age of 28, he is hoping to fulfill his longtime career passion.

“I worked for a number of years in the               “During law school, I have had three                 his positions through connections and
political world before coming to law school.         externships. During [the summer between              networking, which led to more opportunities.
I enjoyed the work I did but saw that there          my first year and my second year], I spent the
was a ceiling to that type of work,” he said.        first half of my summer with the legislative         Baranov said he has spent a lot of his time
“I thought law school and a law degree would         unit of the Los Angeles city attorney and the        during law school figuring out what field of
open up new doors and allow me to pursue a           second half of my summer with [the] counsel          law he wants to focus on.
career in the political-legal world.”                to Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa,”
                                                     Baranov explained. “I am externing this              “I would like to work in a political-legal
Baranov completed his undergraduate work             semester with a federal district court               capacity, but I’m not sure exactly what that
at the University of California, Berkeley,           judge here in Los Angeles.” He received              might be,” he said. “I had a great experience
where he received his B.A. in Political                                                                   this past summer working for a civil defense
Science.                                              Q. What do you do for fun?                          firm, and I would be interested in continuing
                                                      A. Fun during law school? That’s funny.             that work and also in finding out what else is
Currently at Southwestern Law School in Los           Q. What CD is in your CD player right now,          out there.”
Angeles, Baranov is the school’s 2007-2008            or what was the last song you heard?
law student division delegate to the American         A. A mash-up of “’03 Bonnie and Clyde” by           He also emphasized that he started out with
Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He              Jay-Z/Beyonce and Toto’s “Africa” by DJ             some goals in mind.
is also editor-in-chief of Southwestern               Sizzahandz called “Girlfriend in Africa.”
Law School’s student-run newspaper, The                                                                   “The idea of working in the political-legal
                                                      Q. What is the last magazine you read?
Commentator.                                                                                              arena was one of the main reasons I came to
                                                      A. Newsweek.
                                                                                                          law school. I’ve been interested in politics
He just took on his position with the                 Q. What is your favorite TV show?                   since AP Government in high school, if not
American Bar Association, so he’s sure                A. Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The              before,” he said. “I’ve also been interested
life may get a bit hectic. However, he is             Colbert Report is up there, too.                    in pursuing a career in law since the days
prepared to take whatever comes his way.              Q. Who is your role model?                          of L.A. Law, if not before. Law school is the
                                                      A. I once worked for Senator Paul                   best place I could think of to figure out how
Baranov also enjoys the law school setting            Wellstone of Minnesota. Paul Wellstone              to merge my two interests into one career.”
and what it entails.                                  was willing to stand up for what he
                                                      believed in, no matter how unpopular his            Baranov added that joining student
“The discussions that arise, both inside and          positions might have been at the time. And          organizations can only be a positive for
outside the classroom, over contentious               however much people may have disagreed              students.
                                                      with his political positions, they respected
legal issues that affect and continue to shape
                                                      him as an advocate and as a person at the
our state, nation, and world [are what I enjoy                                                            “There are many benefits of getting involved
                                                      end of the day.
the most],” he said.                                                                                      in student associations while in law school.
                                                      Q. What is something most people don’t              At the top of the list is the people you meet
Baranov has gained a lot of work experience           know about you?                                     and friends you make,” Baranov said. “The
over the last few years.                              A. I love strawberries.                             residual benefit from this networking is that

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STUDENT PROFILE                                                                              1. 800.973.1177

you make connections with people in the           “There is no ‘one way’ to make it through        ABA Law Student Division
legal world that can give you advice as you       law school. Find your own path, find the
search for a job, directly help you find a job,   best study methods that work for you, and
or potentially send you work once you are a       remember that these are the last three           Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
lawyer.”                                          years you will have before you enter the ‘real
                                                  world,’ so have fun,” he emphasized.
Baranov is anticipating a graduation date of
May 2008 but said that every student has to       On The neT
follow his or her own routine.
                                                  Southwestern Law School


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