1L Anastasiya Kadukov: A Jazz Singer and First Generation American with a Passion for the Creative Arts
In the next installment of our Meet the J.D. Class of 2024, we introduce you to 1L Anastasiya Kadukov, who is both a first-generation American and a first-generation college student in her family. The daughter of a Russian immigrant mother, Kadukov has a passion for music and creative pursuits, as well as an impresive array of corporate internships under her belt. In her legal career, she hopes to help artists and other creatives.
Could you discuss your background a little bit?
I was born and raised in Chicago. I am a first-gen student with a Russian immigrant mother. I started singing in a Russian theatre studio at the age of 5 and developed a passion for music in my youth. As I got older, I found a passion for singing jazz and performing in the Chicago Jazz scene. I attended DePaul University in Chicago, majoring in finance with a minor in accounting and music business. I wanted to develop a strong foundation in business before entering and making the biggest difference in the music industry. Throughout college, I had the opportunity to intern at many different Chicago companies such as Lyric Opera of Chicago, Bloom School of Jazz, JMC Wealth Management, and HBR Consulting. I knew I wanted to do law to be able to make the biggest impact on the music community and protect creatives.
How do your varied life experiences connect to your decision to pursue law as a career?
As a first-gen student, it was important for me to find my passion and grow with it. As a singer, I have always used music as a creative medium to express my emotions. As musicians passionately work their craft, the world around imposes the pressure of expectations. My passion for music is leading me to pursue a law degree because I believe it will give me the most empowering tools to make a difference in the music community. This passion of mine opened my eyes to an industry that was full of injustices and abuses of power, and I wanted to service it through the language of law. I want to be the translator between the overwhelming world of law and artists, just as I was for my Russian immigrant mother.
What do you hope/plan to do with your legal education (realizing, of course, that may change during the course of your studies)?
My goal is to protect the individuals who give their soul and life to their art. Being both a first-generation American and a female in the music industry, I have often been cast as an underdog. My dream is to aid fellow vulnerable musicians and creatives because they need protection from opportunistic professionals that wrongly take advantage of them by capitalizing on their work. I want to handle all aspects of intellectual property dispute resolution, including prosecuting and defending claims over copyright infringements.
Why did you select Minnesota Law?
Minnesota Law is a community of hard-working, passionate students. I remember speaking to a 2L student during my selection process and gravitating toward the experiences she was describing. The culture is what won me over. I want to be part of a community that inspires one another to thrive during their legal education. I also want to take advantage of the opportunities that the law school offers such as the Intellectual Property & Entrepreneurship Clinic and the Intellectual Property & Technology Law concentration, so that I can grow my network and advance my legal skills.
Minnesota Law strives for a diversity of perspectives in the classroom. What are you hoping to add to the mix?
As a first-generation, female finance student I have realized that diversity and inclusion are essential to the field of finance and law. I’ve learned that different perspectives can increase innovation and strengthen collaboration. I am going to bring in dedication and personal experiences to the classroom. The adversities I’ve faced have shaped me into a hardworking, passionate student. Being first gen has prepared me to be independent and ambitious. My multicultural and multilingual background in Russian and Argentinian has shaped me into having an open mind. I love to be challenged to think about things differently and observe from different viewpoints.
Minnesota Law as an institution emphasizes leadership. What does leadership mean to you? What thing are you most looking forward to about being a law student?
Leadership means taking initiative and responsibility. It is about putting a positive vision into reality. I am planning on being a leader by making a difference with my passions. I am looking forward to meeting other incredible leaders at Minnesota law. Law is a serious decision and everyone entering it is chasing their own dream or goal. I am looking forward to being inspired by others and soaking in a great extent of knowledge in the next three years. Being an attorney comes with responsibility, and it is going to be exciting to develop as a leader in our interests.
What are your hobbies/ interests?
I’ve been singing since I was five years old with a Russian theatre company in Chicago. I found a passion for jazz when I was 15 years old because I loved the way it was freeing and spontaneous with improvisation. Singing in Chicago has been exciting because of the lively jazz scene. I’ve had the honor of singing at the Chicago Jazz Festival and other events. I am also very interested in traveling. My whole family lives abroad in either Russia or Argentina, and has exposed me to different cultures.
How do you like to spend your free time?
In my free time I love to go running and exploring. Whether it is trying new foods or checking out a live music event, I enjoy experiencing new things with friends and family.
Favorite inspirational quote, book, or personal hero that you would like to mention? Anything else you’d like to share?
My favorite quote is “Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong.” - Ella Fitzgerald