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Sunny Skies Ahead

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Karine Akopchikyan (JD 2015), who chairs the L.A. committee of the USC Gould Alumni Association

By Jill Barone

 

“I always wanted to be a Trojan,” Karine Akopchikyan JD 2015 proudly stated. 

Born in Armenia, Akopchikyan moved to Los Angeles with her parents at age two.  Her family immediately fell in love with sunny Southern California and the distance from relatives abroad reinforced their appreciation of family.

Akopchikyan obtained her teaching credentials and then set her sights on a career in law. She began her legal education at Loyola Law School, but applied to USC Gould as a transfer student during her second semester. Her personal statement focused on the reputation of the Trojan network and her lifelong goal to be a part of and contribute to the USC family.

Once accepted to USC Gould, Akopchikyan became involved with the USC community almost immediately—first serving as a student representative and now serving as chair of the Los Angeles committee of the USC Gould Alumni Association. 

As a student representative, Akopchikyan regularly attended meetings with law school administrators who acted on feedback they received from her and her peers.  She appreciated belonging to a law school that values student feedback and opinion. 

Akopchikyan fondly recalled her classes at Gould and the professors and faculty who remain a great influence on her and her career.  She particularly enjoyed learning from adjunct faculty who maintained active law practices and shared real-world experiences.

Akopchikyan remains involved with the USC community while growing her practice as a litigation associate at Stubbs Alderton & Markiles, LLP.  “SA&M encourages attorneys to form strong personal and professional relationships and to enjoy life outside of the office,” she shared.  For this reason, when asked to chair the Los Angeles committee of the USC Gould Alumni Association, Akopchikyan accepted without hesitation.  In this role, she is working to organize a wide variety of events that will appeal to alumni from different backgrounds and industries.

Akopchikyan’s commitment to helping students goes beyond the law school.  With roots as a credentialed public-school teacher, she helped form the Pasadena Bar Association’s Mentorship Committee, which connects law students with seasoned attorneys.  She also regularly volunteers as an attorney proctor for the Los Angeles Superior Court’s Teen Court Program, which focuses on the rehabilitation of juvenile offenders.

Although her career keeps her busy, Akopchikyan loves her work and her involvement with SA&M’s Preccelerator®, which provides select early-stage start-ups with initial capital, mentorship, sophisticated legal services, co-working space and other perks with the objective of helping grow a founder’s idea from a concept to a funded company.

She brings that same passion to the alumni community.  “USC Gould emphasizes the value of creating friendships and relationships,” Akopchikyan noted.  “Being involved with the Alumni Association gives me a chance to help others develop these relationships and allows me to be an active member of the Trojan family.  I strive to be a mentor for students and new alumni, like others have been for me.” 

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