Pieter’s interest in human rights and the law spawned from his parents’ stories of growing up in a Soviet-satellite state where they were victims of human rights abuses. As young adults, Pieter’s parents fought against the tyrannical hold of Communism, and their stories and experiences instilled in him a desire to help those living under similarly oppressive regimes.

At NYU, he concentrated in international law and policy with a focus on human rights. During his third year at NYU, he interned for Sanctuary for Families, working with survivors of gender-based abuse and researching various cases from genital mutilation to forced child marriage, an experience that culminated in a trip to Albany where he met with New York State Assembly members and urged them to cosponsor bills broadening the legal rights of survivors of domestic abuse. Pieter also has studied abroad in Madrid, where he volunteered for T’oigo, an organization comprised of volunteers who teach English to deaf Spaniards.

At USC Gould, Pieter is on the board of the Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal. As a 2L, he served as the President of the International Law and Relations Organization (ILRO), VP of Alumni Relations for the Armenian Law Student Association, and a peer mentor. During his 2L summer, Pieter was a Summer Associate at Lewis Brisbois.

“Much like the Clinic’s clients, my parents sought to escape lives of hardship and turmoil to ensure better futures for themselves and their children. Their stories and experiences instilled in me a desire to help those living under similarly oppressive regimes—a desire that still fuels me to this day.”