Introducing the Slavic Bar
by Aryna Anderson
Top: SBAW members
enjoyed treats such
as pierogi and pickle
soup at the Polish
PB Kitchen restaurant
Anderson and SBAW
Vice President Peter
Styron, Ron Perey,
Paul Abrams, Peter
enjoy a gathering
of the Slavic Bar
Do you like pierogi?
Are Tchaikovsky and Chopin near and dear
to your heart? Was your grandpa an immigrant
from Ukraine? Do you know three words in Czech?
Do you enjoy lively conversations over hearty meals
and beverages? Do you aspire to help Eastern and
Central European immigrants with their legal needs?
Are you eager to meet other legal professionals or law
students with diverse backgrounds and interests? If
you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you
are, at heart, a member of the Slavic Bar.
The Slavic Bar Association of Washington
(SBAW) is only a year-and-a-half old and already it
boasts a dedicated board and a group of enthusiastic members. The Slavic Bar was created to educate
others about Slavic culture, history, and people; to
aid its community and those within it aspiring to
enter the legal field; and to support members of the
Bar and law students with Slavic ties.
Who are Slavs?
The Slavs are an ethnic and linguistic group of
Eastern and Central European origin. It includes
Serbs, Croats, Bosnians, Macedonians, Montene-grins, Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles,
Czechs, Slovaks, and Bulgarians.
So, why do we need a Slavic bar association in
We estimate that there are at least a few hundred
Slavic attorneys licensed in Washington state, and
this number is growing as students with Slavic ties
and interests graduate law schools and enter the
profession. We also hear from practitioners and
students who are ethnically not Slavic, but have
other ties to Slavic cultures or languages — Slavic
homelands, undergraduate studies, travels, or
friends. SBAW welcomes any connection with our
association — even if it is sheer love of pierogi or
cabbage rolls! We have a lot in common and wanted
an opportunity to meet, compare experiences, and
work on common goals.
Mentoring and networking
The Slavic Bar hears from many students looking for mentorship and networking opportunities.
They need information, professional guidance, and
a sense of belonging. I can identify with them. Five
or six years ago, I, too, was looking for someone to
answer my questions about the professional paths I
was considering and the obstacles that I might face
as an immigrant from Ukraine. I wanted my mentor