Mariya was born and raised in Bulgaria. She went to a German high school followed by an American University, both in South Eastern Europe. Her exposure to a multi-cultural environment fostered her educational curiosity and desire to build a career with a positive imprint on humanity. Fluent in several languages, Mariya first came to the USA in 2010 for a semester abroad at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There, she took numerous law classes and developed an immense interest in and respect for the American legal system.
Upon her return to the American University in Bulgaria, Mariya was determined to pursue an advanced degree in law. Prior to graduating college, she was already admitted to New York Law School with a scholarship. Mariya earned her double-major Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations and Business Administration. A few short months after her college graduation, Mariya began her legal education.
The hands –on education style at New York Law School taught Mariya not only how to build a solid theoretical knowledge of the law, but also how to apply it on a daily basis. She was admitted into the prestigious Securities Arbitration Clinic, where she worked pro bono on real disputes between individual small investors/customers and their brokers. Mariya represented customers who had lodged complaints against their brokers through the arbitration divisions of securities industry Self-Regulatory Organizations (SROs), such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). This experience solidified her lawyering skills in interviewing, case theory development, fact investigation and analysis, counseling and negotiation. The experience at the Securities Arbitration Clinic reinforced Mariya’s decision to devote her career to providing legal help to victims of injustice.
Mariya began working at Barasch McGarry Salzman & Penson as a legal intern on the Zadroga Victim Compensation Fund team in 2013, while simultaneously going to law school full time. She has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of people affected by the tragedy of 9/11 and has remained at the firm as an Associate Attorney since graduating law school. After passing the NYS Bar Exam, she was admitted to the NYS Bar. She is a member of both the New York County Lawyers’ Association & the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.