STUDENT PROFILE Anique and Deanna Aburaad
Sisters land at Loyola for law school
It will be fun to see where the two Aburaad sisters have landed 10 years from now. The second- and third-year students have a certain joie de vivre about them that is infectious. Their zest for life coupled with their abundant interests is sure to find them in jobs that use their considerable talents for the greater good.
Growing up in Palatine to parents who highly value education, Anique and Deanna “Didi” Aburaad laugh easily as they talk about their different paths to law school — and their plans for the future.
For 3L Didi, that meant earning a degree in economics with a minor in computer science at Northwestern University. While there, she took Taekwondo classes for fun and joined the university's Korean American Student Association. She then challenged herself to begin learning the Korean language. The combination fueled her desire to experience the world and travel abroad. At Loyola she’s taken advantage of the many international law opportunities offered.
“During my first summer, I spent two weeks at Loyola’s (former) Beijing Center in China studying Chinese law and culture,” said Didi. That fall, she was accepted into an international commercial arbitration class with 15 others who vied to compete for eight Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot fellowship slots that sent four of them to Hong Kong and four to Vienna.
After practicing arguments in pre-moot sessions in Belgrade, Serbia, and Zagreb, Croatia, Didi’s team competed internationally in Vienna with students from nearly 400 other law schools.
“While we didn’t advance to the finals, it was a great introduction to international law,” she said.
When she returned to campus, Didi continued to “cold-call Korea,” as Anique describes it with a laugh.
From the time she started law school, Didi was on a mission to spend a summer working at a Korean law firm. Her persistence paid off when she landed a summer internship at DR & AJU International Law Group LLC in Seoul last summer.
At Loyola, Didi also served as feature articles editor of the International Law Review, president of the International Law Society, and vice president of the Loyola Federal Bar Association.
The sisters agree that their teachers have been influential, particularly Cynthia Ho, director of Loyola’s Intellectual Property Law Program, who taught them Civil Procedure.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Didi and Anique as individuals, as well as an incredibly supportive team of sisters,” said Ho. “It’s been a joy to see their progression in law school towards achieving their long-term dreams.”
Anique also names Professor Mary Bird (JD ’87), director of the Public Interest Program, as an important influence.
“Professor Bird spotted me during a reception for admitted students and asked about my background and interests,” said Anique. “She’s been a mentor ever since.”
Anique, a 2L student, earned a degree in English and Spanish with a minor in French from Loyola in 2015. A bookworm, she worked as a patron assistant and youth programmer for Mount Prospect Public Library for three years before starting law school.
“I used my Spanish skills every day developing bilingual, literacy-based programs for children and helping adults apply for jobs or for dual citizenships, among other things. That one-on-one client experience helped steer me toward law school. I wanted to broaden my scope.”
She’s interested in working with marginalized and underserved communities. Last summer she interned at Ascend Justice, a domestic violence legal clinic, and also is a junior editor for Children’s Legal Rights Journal, secretary of the Latinx Law Student Association, and a member of OUTLaw, Loyola’s LGBTQ organization.
“My passion is working individually with people to make sure they are heard and helped,” she said. Anique is expanding her network and strengthening her commitment to service to others with her remaining year at Loyola.
In her last semester, Didi’s focus is on what’s next. “I’ll take the bar exam in July and hopefully get a job at a Chicago firm — with an eye to eventually practice internationally.”
Armed with Loyola law degrees, odds have it that both women will accomplish whatever they set out to do.