MiRi Song is Top-Choice for the 2009 Samuel S. Leibowitz Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy

May 7, 2009

MiRi Song Joined the USC Mock Trial Team her freshman year. Since day one, she exhibited an extraordinary work ethic and always made time, whether she had it or not, to pursue justice and to go the extra mile for the Team. With three majors, she has still been a team captain and mentor for younger members year after year. Now, at the end of her undergraduate career, she has been aggressively courted by top law schools including Boalt Hall, Georgetown, Duke, Columbia and others. Her choice is Columbia. Even more impressive than her competitive gifts and her academics is her work in pursuit of access to justice for those who would not otherwise have it. Ms. Song is the CFO for the Sierra Leone Educational Enrichment Project. An international NGO that she co-founded to provide textbooks to war ravaged school children in Sierra Leone. Just a few weeks ago, Song brought to our class an official from the special UN court set up to try human rights violations in Sierra Leone. When the LAPD stormed MacArthur Park on MayDay, cracking heads and firing impact weapons at many immigrants who had been welcomed into this community as refugees from Central American countries tormented by death squads, Song did client intake and witness interviews on the case. That case just settled this year for about $13 million dollars. When a 21 year old autistic run-away was shot and killed by the LAPD, and his family was not told of the killing until 21 days later, even though the LAPD and the Coroner had his driver's license, she chased witnesses across two states -- one of which included Nevada during a 117 degree summer. When 70,000 grocery workers went on strike just a few years ago to retain fair working conditions and had their civil rights violated by police officers while on the picket line, Song used her mock trial team training to write the objections to the other side's attempt at kicking the workers' case out of court. Co-counsel for the plaintiffs, Dan Stormer's (of Doe v. Unocal notoriety) exact quote: "these were done by an undergrad, impressive." Ms. Song is unstoppable. She is remarkable. She is one of the finest people ever to be a member of the USC Mock Trial Team. She is also the winner of the 2009 Samuel S. Leibowitz Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.