Mstislav “Slav” Pedro Talavera-Karmanov
I was born in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico to a Russian Mother and a Mexican Father. My parents met in Moscow where my father went to study his undergraduate degree. When my mother was pregnant my parents moved to Mexico to be closer to my father’s family and they began work as educators. After only a few years in Mexico my parents decided that they wanted to continue their education in America and began applying for visas so that we could immigrate to this country as a family. The University of Texas accepted my parents into their Ph.D. program and allowed me to come into the United States with my parents. I have been a Longhorn fan ever since.
After my parents received their PhDs from UT they both accepted jobs as professors in Joplin, Missouri and I began middle school in Missouri. I graduated high school in Missouri and to stay close to my family I decided to attend Washington University in St. Louis on a scholarship. I graduated with dual degrees from Arts & Sciences and the Business school and decided to work after college. I found the corporate life to be monotonous and without passion and made a decision to attend law school after only a year of work in the business sector. I had excelled in debate both in high school and college and decided that public speaking and oration were better suited for me than the corporate life.
I attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas for law school in my desperate attempt to get back to Texas after having to deal with Midwest winters for such a long time. I graduated in 2010 and began litigating immediately with Legal Aid. I wanted to help people who were suffering, and I began doing Veteran’s and VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) work immediately to help those who needed it most. I found the courtroom and litigation to be the most rewarding work I had ever done in my life. I have continued to work in Family Law since the beginning of my career and I have devoted my entire career exclusively to family issues.
My wife, Elizabeth Shehan, and I have two boys named Dmitri and Mikhail, as well as a baby girl named Ekaterina that have helped me to understand the difficulties of being a parent more than any case or legal argument ever could. In our spare time, my wife and I enjoy competing against each other in fantasy football. I speak Spanish, Russian and English and am always excited to get to speak to other native speakers around Austin.