Team player: Law student is interning for Rock Central in Detroit

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In 2019, law student Livia Khemmoro studied in Venice, in the Vanderbilt University Law School Study Abroad program.

Photo courtesy of  Livia Khemmoro

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

A resident of metro Detroit her entire life, Detroit Mercy Law student Livia Khemmoro loves her summer internship at Rock Central.

“It’s a company whose culture places a significant importance on making a difference in Detroit, and I love being part of a team who is dedicated to donating time, energy and money on revitalizing the Detroit community,” she says. “Obsessed with finding a better way, rather than cancelling, Rock Central sent me technology to be able to work from home, and I receive bi-weekly care packages to enhance my internship experience.”

The Rock Central Legal Team provides legal services to all the Rock Family of Companies; and as a member of the litigation team, Khemmoro has been looped in on cases, completed various legal research and writing projects, and attended meetings with the attorneys on her team, including their meetings with outside counsel.

Despite being virtual, Khemmoro says it’s been an absolute joy working on the Rock Central Detroit Legal Team.

“I’ve had the opportunity to learn about mortgage litigation and how to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. I’m excited to see what knowledge the rest of the summer will bring me!”

With business know-how a strong asset in any field, Khemmoro started her career trajectory with a degree in business administration and management from Walsh College, before entering law school in 2018.

“When I was 17, I had a life-changing experience that taught me you only have one life to do everything you’ve dreamed of and that experience brought me to law school,” she says. “I’ve always been passionate about advocating for people who don’t necessarily know their rights.”

Khemmoro particularly relishes the versatility of the legal field.

“I started law school as an aspiring litigator, anxious to get inside of the court room, and zealously represent my clients,” she says. “Although I do still enjoy litigation, my experience in house at Rock Central has shown me that I could be just as happy as an in-house attorney or practicing a different area of law.”

For the first five months of this year, she externed for the Attorney General’s office, where she was involved with the Flint Water Crisis investigation.

“I thoroughly enjoyed learning from a team of lawyers, composed of zealous advocates, who were passionate about restoring justice to the Flint community,” she says. “Although the pandemic put a dent on my experience, I was glad I was able to complete my externship virtually.”

Prior to law school, a job with Dobreff & Dobreff P.C., a general plaintiff’s litigation law firm with the bulk of the firm’s work centered on plaintiff personal injury, solidified Khemmoro’s love for the law and her decision to go to law school; and she continued working for the firm during law school.

One of Khemmoro’s most meaningful experiences has been Moot Court. “Participating has given me a taste of what a career as a litigator would be like and I love every second,” she explains. “The adrenaline of oral argument is my favorite part. I’m excited to compete in Keenan this fall and hopefully represent Detroit Mercy Law at Nationals in the winter.”

During her 1L year, Khemmoro was a student attorney in the Experiential Clinic, where she was trained to assist attorneys with counseling indigent guests of the Pope Francis Warming Center, including researching court records and determining subject-matter jurisdiction.

Khemmoro will be a member of Law Review in her upcoming year. “I look forward to spending many hours doing precisely the kind of in-depth, meticulous legal research and writing that will be required of me as an attorney,” she says.

During her final semester, she plans to participate in the Federal Pro Se Clinic that provides an opportunity for hands-on legal experience while emphasizing the school’s Jesuit service-based mission.

Khemmoro says that while difficult, the unique challenges of online studies during the pandemic have better prepared her to overcome obstacles as she transitions into the practice of law.

 “My parents are Chaldean immigrants who came to America in their late 20s with nothing but hope for a better life,” she adds. “My dad taught me the secret to success is hard work and my mom taught me the value in studying hard. I have an older and a younger sister who are my best friends. My family is life’s ultimate gift to me.”

Khemmoro also has happy memories of her 2019 opportunity to participate in the Vanderbilt University Law School Study Abroad program, in Venice, where she completed courses on International Arbitration, Comparative Corporate Governance, and Counter Perspectives on Counterterrorism.

“Every day was like living a dream,” she says.

 “I would wake up, walk out of my Airbnb to the most beautiful and peaceful scenic view, and take a boat to class every morning. My study abroad experience provided me the perfect mix of academics and leisure. The opportunity to learn, live, and breathe the Venetian culture made this one of my most memorable law school experiences. I learned to make the most of the world around me and gained diverse perspectives on legal issues.”




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