Our story about Julia Muts – a woman from Vinnytsia who graduated from an Italian university and works as a lawyer in Florence. She first received her legal education in the field of commercial law in Ukraine, studying at the Vinnytsia Institute of Regional Economics and Kharkiv National University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. And already in Italy she received a specialization in banking and international commercial law, as well as international tax law.
Today, Julia is a successful lawyer in various legal disciplines, registered with the Florence Bar Association. In addition to independent legal activity, she cooperates with other colleagues and law firms. Her clients include people who need help with civil, immigration, and commercial law. Julia also solves real estate problems and litigation. She also legalizes and translates official documents to give them legal force. Because in addition to Ukrainian and Russian, he is fluent in Italian and English.
Energetic, enterprising and persistent Yulia Muts is also successfully engaged in public activities. In particular, she is the founder and board member of the Association of Professionals and Businessmen for Economic and Social Cooperation (APICES), based in Rome. She is also the president of the Ukraine-Florence Lily Association, which disseminates information about the true history and culture of Ukraine to Italians.
Yulia, how long have you been working as a lawyer in Italy?
After graduating from the University of Florence, which was in 2011, she immediately went to practice law and in 2013 already had a license to engage in such activities. And as an independent lawyer, I have been working for five years.
And how did it happen that you became a lawyer not in Ukraine?
When I lived in Ukraine and studied at university, I could not even imagine that I would study in another country, learn another language (at that time I already spoke English well). After all, I always wanted to work in Ukraine. However, when I started practicing in one of the law firms, I saw all that corruption – it was just scary. All the time I was haunted by the thought that I had been studying law and laws for years, but in fact it turned out that money decides everything. That is why the question of another country arose.
Why did you choose Florence as the city of study and work?
Not much was known about Italy in Ukraine in the early 2000s. However, even then I heard that Florence has a good university and in 2004 I decided to go there. At that time in Ukraine there were only the first practices of obtaining a study visa. Therefore, the registration was very long – about a year. After 7 years of study, the internship was also held in Florence – during all this time I was able to make sure that this is a beautiful city. So I stayed here to work.
How did you master Italian and was it difficult to do it?
When I came here in 2004 for university exams, I knew almost no language. I thought that we would be taught languages first, and then we would be examined. But in reality it was not so. The entrance exam was in Italian – what and how I told, now I will not remember. It was very difficult, but I joined. Then it was even more difficult, because she had to go to lecture pairs and study Italian at the same time. All textbooks were in Italian, so almost from the beginning of her studies she began to translate them on her own. That’s how I learned the language – I constantly read books, watched TV, listened to lectures at the university. Due to the heavy load it was very difficult, I wanted to leave everything. But here my own stubbornness worked and I learned the language on my own.
What are you dreaming about now?
My friends in Ukraine say that I have always dreamed of becoming a lawyer. And this dream came true, for which I am very grateful to fate, my family and all those who supported and helped me. It was very difficult, but this dream came true. Now I have many more dreams and one of them is to travel more and enjoy life. Because when I was studying, there was neither time nor money for it. At the moment, I can afford it, but in my free time, the problem remains. Because of work it is not always possible to go somewhere and have a rest. There are a lot of clients and the work takes up all the time – I work even in the evenings and on weekends. But I will gradually realize my dream of traveling – I know that for sure.
You are the founder of the Rome-based Association of Professionals and Businessmen for Economic and Social Cooperation (APICES). What prompted the creation of this organization?
At one time, I improved my skills while studying international commercial law at the University of La Sapienza in Rome. There she met great colleagues and like-minded people, and after graduating, sometime in 2013, the idea arose to create an international association. She founded it together with several classmates, as well as a professor who lectured at our course.
APICES aims to spread good practices in promoting commerce in the international market, creating new channels for cooperation, investment and learning. We arrange business meetings and implement business projects. We also organize conferences and other public events, where we invite politicians, businessmen, officials from ministries – to share their experiences.
At APICES, you are responsible for relations with the countries of the former Soviet Union. What are they and what exactly do you do?
Because I know Ukrainian and Russian, I am responsible for this area of work of the Association. In particular, I can note the successful negotiations with Ukraine on several investment projects. She also helped resolve some issues related to cooperation with Kazakhstan.
You are also a member of the international organization “Ukraine Lobby and Business Club”. What do you plan to do there?
Ukraine Lobby and Business Club is a union of successful Ukrainians and friends of Ukraine. It was created to lobby the interests of Ukrainians, establish business contacts, and the business elite and improve Ukraine’s image in the world. I have known the head of this organization Mykhailo Vovchyk for a long time and we had a lot of ideas and projects to organize our youth, our specialists and businessmen in a certain way. The time has finally come and I am ready to share my knowledge and experience. If there are successful people who want to grow professionally, join!
And share what the Association “Ukraine-Florence” Lily “, which you head, does?
It unites Ukrainian young active women living in Italy. Regarding this Association, we have many implemented projects that we are proud of. In particular, we help our young entrepreneurs who want to open their business in Italy.
Another example is the initiative to donate a library containing more than 1,000 Ukrainian books to the hall of the Ukrainian Church in Florence. Also donated about fifty books for the Italian library “Le Oblate” also in Florence. Among them are translations into Italian of such writers as M. Kotsyubynsky and G. Skovoroda. There are even translated works by S. Zhadan, whom we had as a guest in Florence! The Embassy of Ukraine in Italy helped us to implement this project with the library.
That’s how bright and multifaceted it is – Yulia Muts. He considers himself an ordinary person and has achieved everything on his own – thanks to his own mind and stubbornness.
Yes, I am grateful to myself for that. I think that if a person wants to do something, he will still do it. I can give advice – learn, people! Knowledge has never bothered anyone and will not hurt. Try to move forward and not look back – have a goal and strive to achieve it. Goal and dreams are the most important thing.
Author: Olga Gorbenko-Namik