Featured Intern: Sabina Nedkova

Sabina Nedkova

Sabina Nedkova is a 3L at the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law, and she is set to graduate in December of 2022. Sabina is originally from Burgas, Bulgaria. Prior to law school, Sabina earned a Paralegal Certificate from the College of DuPage. Besides her work at LCA, Sabina has also interned for the United States Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial & Appeals Board. 

Q: Many of our interns come to us with unique backgrounds in the arts. Do you have any personal background in the arts?
A: Art and dance have always been companions on my journey through life. I used to dance hip hop and national Bulgarian dances. I still attend national Bulgarian dance classes whenever I have free time.

I also love to paint. I used to work closely with a Bulgarian artist in Chicago, Denitza Manevska, who agreed to be my mentor and helped me to further develop my skills. I was able to have my acrylic paintings displayed at M&D Gallery in 2012- 2013, Bulgarica Center, and at special events. I became a member of the American Society of Artists and of the Association of Bulgarian Artists Abroad. To this day, whenever I have the time, I go back to either painting or dancing because art is my sanctuary.

How did you hear about LCA?
I believe I first heard about LCA around 2014 when I was graduating from my Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at the College of DuPage. That is when I became interested in Intellectual Property (IP) law and when I started working in the field. LCA also kept reappearing in the bios of IP attorneys I met and admired.

What did you expect? Did anything here surprise you?
Going into the internship I knew that I would have the opportunity to speak to applicants with questions related to the arts but what continues to surprise me is just how diverse the issues we hear about are. It has been truly inspirational to hear the different stories of artists who are striving to achieve their dreams despite the hardships the COVID pandemic has brought.

What has it been like to work with our clients?
LCA receives applications from a diverse pool of artists and creators. I could never have imagined the range of legal issues I would encounter while interning at LCA. I am amazed and inspired by all the projects, businesses, and programs people are involved in. During my internship I encountered issues related to book publishing, music rights, public displays of art, landlord-tenant COVID related issues, matters related to LLCs or nonprofit entities, consignment of art, and so many more. I am truly grateful to have had exposure to such a diverse set of legal matters all within the realm of IP law. 

Do you have any favorite moments or projects from your time with us? 
I love talking to people and learning about all the interesting projects, businesses, and programs they are involved in, so it is very hard to pick just one. All the projects and experiences were unique, but they all taught me that law is about people, it is about their stories, their experiences, their fears, and their dreams. It is an honor when people choose to put their trust in the legal professionals to help support them on their journeys, to tell their stories, and to help them build their dreams. 

How has your experience at LCA connected with what you have been learning in law school?
I will be graduating UIC Law with a J.D. concentration in Intellectual Property law. I have taken many classes in IP, including trademark law, copyright law, IP licensing, IP Litigation, Entertainment law and others. My internship experience at LCA has touched upon many of the subjects from the IP classes I have taken and it allowed me to apply my knowledge of those subjects when analyzing information and thinking of pertinent questions to ask applicants during interviews. I am also taking a class on depositions, so I have been able to apply the interviewing methods I learned in class while conducting the LCA intake interviews.

Did you come into LCA hoping to get experience in a particular area of law? Have your interests changed at all?
Coming into LCA, I knew I wanted to practice in the areas of copyright and trademark law. However, my experience at LCA has taught me how diverse these areas of law truly are. I would still like to practice in trademark and copyright law, but I am considering a specialization in one of the areas of copyright law such as music, literature, art, or film

What’s next for you? Has your time at LCA helped you to narrow your options?
My time at LCA has reaffirmed that Intellectual Property is the area I would like to practice in. While interning at LCA, I became very interested in film, music, and art related matters and would love to explore those further in the future.

Do you hope to volunteer with LCA once you have your degree?
Yes! LCA is a wonderful organization which provides great opportunities to assist artists in need and support the Chicagoland creative community.

What value does an organization like LCA add to the arts community? 
LCA brings hope to artists who need legal assistance but cannot afford it. Many applicants contact LCA because others recommend LCA to them due to their prior positive experience. It is such a great thing to hear that LCA’s work creates ripple effects in the arts communities, bringing about positive change by supporting creativity and innovation.

Article I Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution expresses the importance of the progress of art and the protection of authors. Art is fundamental to our society’s continued progress and LCA contributes to that by reducing or eliminating a factor which unfortunately is often preclusive to the progress of the arts – financial restraints. LCA connects artists and creators with attorneys who believe in the importance of the creative arts in shaping our community and who are willing to help at no cost or reduced costs to those who need it, and we are all richer for it.   

What's a fun fact about you?
I have traveled to eighteen countries thus far and I cannot wait to get my next passport stamp.

Which tv-show/movie/song/book have you recently finished that you would recommend?
I am currently watching the latest season of “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” on AmazonPrime and I love it. I recommend it because it has an amazing cast, hilarious dialogues, and it transports the viewer to the 1950s with wonderful wardrobe, sets, and references.

Thank you Sabina for all of your hard work as an intern this semester! Check the website or follow us on social media for future intern profiles and other exciting content.