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Olga and Natasha came from Russia with love — first for an American named Bill, and eventually for the law. While in the former Soviet Union, neither mother nor daughter had reason to imagine life as a New York lawyer. But as Olga Ruh says, “Love is blind.” But this spring, Ruh, 47, and her daughter, Natasha Moskvina, 25, attended one another’s graduation from law school. And now in the run-up to next month’s bar examination, they are study partners. You can almost hear two men in their lives — William Ruh, husband and stepfather, and Bernard A. Krooks, legal mentor — bursting their buttons with pride. “During high school, Natasha became interested in the law,” said Mr. Ruh, an architect with the firm JJ Falk Design LLC. “She went to Duke University [political science], and continued on to Vanderbilt University Law School. “Olga thought that when Natasha became a lawyer, she would be her paralegal,” said Mr. Ruh. His wife indeed became a paralegal, then decided on lawyering herself. “For four years, I saw Olga working hard at a full-time day job, going to classes at night [St. John's University School of Law], and then staying up ’til 2 or 3 a.m. almost every weekday.” Krooks, managing partner of Littman Krooks & Roth, said mother and daughter make “an incredible story,” in which he is pleased to have played a role. “You just don’t find people like them,” Krooks said of mother and daughter. Of Moskvina, he added, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. While at Duke, she worked here at the firm as a receptionist during breaks to help her mom pay for law school.” Back in 1986, when Ruh was a guide for the Soviet agency Intourist, she met her husband-to-be. “He swept me off my feet with his humor,” she said in modestly accented English. “He is courageous guy. He got two for the price of one — and one who didn’t speak English.” Moskvina sounds like any young woman who grew up in, say, Michigan. She recalled those first nervous weeks in 1990, when Mr. Ruh brought his bride and stepdaughter from Moscow to Queens. “I felt like I was in a movie. In Russia, we had a VCR and we watched tapes about America,” said Moskvina. “But still, it didn’t seem real.” At school in New York, she said, “Everybody wore different colors of clothing. I was used to brown and black for girls, and navy blue for boys. Honestly, I was a little afraid to come to New York. But I knew Bill would be here.” This November, Moskvina will leave New York to become a lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. She brings to the job full fluency in Russian, English and French. Ruh, meanwhile, speaks and writes in Russian, English and German. She is looking for a position as an elder law attorney. She said, “I am confident.” Krooks, who happens to be president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, shares Ruh’s confidence in herself. “How many lawyers do you know who speak three languages?” he asked. “You can count them on one hand. Incredible!”

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