While the accomplishments of my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and parents are not my accomplishments to claim, their influence on me and the example they set is important to understanding my deep connection to Mississippi and provides context for my passion for service and dedication to my local community.
My great- grandfather, Peter Pavlov Sr., immigrated to the United States from Croatia at the turn of the last century. We, along with many of the other Slavic families on the coast, came to this country to flee civil war. We also came to capitalize on the promise of the American dream - through work and dedication, any man can achieve a better life for his family. The Pavlovs settled on the Point in Biloxi, where my great-grandfather started a shrimping factory.
My great grandfather had five children, my Tita Dainica, Tita Margarite, Aunt Flossy, Uncle Gurney, who rant the shrimp factory, my grandfather, Peter Pavlov Jr., and Uncle Frank, who ran a barbershop in Biloxi. My great grandmother ran a small grocery on Pine Street in Biloxi as well. They were active in the development of St. Michael's Parish in Biloxi.
My grandfather attended Perkinston Community College and eventually Loyola of New Orleans, where he studied dentistry. When World War II erupted, my grandfather joined the military and was one of the many marines at Iwo Jima. When he returned home, he met my grandmother, Mary, opened his dental practice in the Veux Marche in Biloxi, and raised seven children. They moved to east Ocean Springs on Government St., back when it was little more than a wooded area with a single street running through it.
My father, Paul, was the third of six boys - Peter, Michael, Paul, Joseph, John, Francis - and one very tough girl, Mary Ann. My father graduated from Notre Dame Catholic High School in Biloxi and then attended the University of Notre Dame. After college, he attended University of Mississippi Medical school. He has practiced medicine as a family doctor in St. Martin since 1983, the same year he married my mother, Theresa Pavlov.
My mother is from Jackson. When she met my father she was working as a social worker and her commitment to helping those in need has never left her or me. My mother and grandfather were instrumental in the founding of the St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy in Biloxi (and now in several other towns as well), where my mother has volunteered since I was a child. She has won multiple local and national awards for her dedication to serving the needy.
When my parents married, they moved to North Biloxi, where they had their three children, my sister - Anna, a plastic surgery resident at North Carolina Chapel Hill, Anthony, a manager in the IT department at Oschner, and me. They moved us to Ocean Springs in 1991, next to my grandparent's house on Government Street.
I attended St. Alphonsus in Ocean Springs and then Mercy Cross High School. After high school, I was fortunate enough to attend the University of Notre Dame where I studied many things, but majored in English with minors in Medieval Studies and Anthropology. I also dedicated myself to service, both tutoring local kids and running a half-way house service group for my dorm.
After college, I was sick and tired of the cold weather and home sick for the Gulf Coast. So I came home. I was lucky enough to get hired on at St. Patrick Catholic High School when it first opened in 2007. I taught religion to 8th graders and coached junior high football and basketball. Ultimately, teaching was not for me, but I was very fortunate to encounter some of the most decent, passionate and generous administrators, teachers and coaches, who took me under their wing and taught me many lessons in leadership, teamwork, organization, service and compassion.
Before beginning my third year as a teacher, I began to crave something different in my life. Teaching, ideally, is a vocation. The best teachers and coaches I saw at St. Patrick's were the ones who were clearly born to teach. They were called to teach. I did not feel that teaching was my calling and began to look for a new path. Like many a wandering English major before me, I decided on law school. I did not know any lawyers growing up. I was not an avid Law and Order fan or a fan any legal tv show for that matter. I simply wanted to do something that would allow me to use my brain each day and give me the chance to make a difference. Plus, I like to talk.
I decided to attend Tulane Law School. While I loved the chance to engage with complicated subject matter, talk about issues that matter in our world today, and learn the foundational system on which our country's democracy is based, I only found my real place in the law during my third year when I worked with the Tulane Domestic Violence clinic and began to study Trial Advocacy and Negotiations. I learned that I want to be involved in the day to day lives of people, listening to them, interacting, and working to change their lives. I also want to fight for the little man. I want to make sure that every person gets the justice to which they are entitled and that families are protected.
Again, I got lucky. Along with the incredible professor I had with the Domestic Violence Clinic, Becki Konkar, I met Earl Denham, who gave me a job during law school, and gave me a chance when I graduated.
Since graduating law school, I have been practicing civil law in Jackson, Harrison, Hancock, George and Greene Counties, doing my best to make sure that our local people get the help they need, their families are receive justice, and their rights are protected.
I decided to start my own law practice so I could build something for the people most important to me - my family - and to live each day as a proud example to my children of what it means to be a good, hardworking, smart person in this world. When I look in my daughters’ eyes I know nothing else is as important as their health and safety.
I understand how important your family is to you and I will work hard to help you protect the people you love.
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TULANE LAW SCHOOL
Juris Doctor, 2013
NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY
B.A., English, 2007
Minor, Anthropology and Medieval Studies, 2007
Activities & Affiliations
• Bethesda Free Clinic, Board Member
• Ocean Springs Historical Society
• Knights of Columbus