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Law student chosen to receive Louisiana State Bar Associationĺs Law Student Pro Bono Award

Loyola press release - May 4, 2015

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law student Sophia Mire has been chosen to receive the 2015 Louisiana State Bar Association’s Law Student Pro Bono Award during a ceremony on Tuesday, May 19 at the Louisiana Supreme Court in New Orleans.

The award is given annually in Louisiana to a student from an American Bar Association-accredited law school who has demonstrated dedication to providing legal services to the poor. Mire was nominated by Davida Finger, associate clinical professor in the Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice.

Mire, who graduates this semester, was the recipient of the 2013 Helena Rubenstein Fellowship for Women’s Justice, given by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. Through the center’s Ella Baker program, made possible by the fellowship, Mire served as an intern in Port-au-Prince, Haiti with the Avocates Internationaux/Institute for Justice and Democracy, the premier human rights legal organization in the country. Her work consisted of pursing legal remedies for the country following the cholera epidemic, continuing rape accountability efforts in the internally displaced camps and efforts for right to health care in prison facilities.

Mire is no stranger to public interest. She has helped to organize law students to participate in Clean Jacket Day, which helps low income people in New Orleans obtain criminal expungements. The project is done through Justice and Accountability Center of Louisiana.

Since 2000, she has been an executive board member of the Haiti Outreach Program in Knoxville, Tenn. She also interned with the International Rescue Committee where she co-taught daily English, vocational and life skills classes for 35 to 50 refugees from Burma, Nepal, Sudan, Somalia, Haiti and the Middle East.

She also served as an intern to the U.N. Special Envoy Office to Haiti for the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2010. There she provided written and verbal communications and talking points for President Clinton, as well as worked to coordinate and facilitate immediate and long term redevelopment efforts with international partners and donors, such the World Food Programme, United Nations Development Programme and TOMS shoes.

In addition to all her involvement, Finger believes that Mire is more than deserving of the award because of her commitment and continuance to give back to the community.

"Sophia demonstrates a strong commitment to social justice and has made great contributions to the community particularly in Haiti and New Orleans. Her legal skills will be an incredible asset, and I look forward to seeing all that she will continue to accomplish," Finger said.

No matter where she ends up post-graduation, you can expect Mire to build more bridges as she plans on getting her hands in a little bit of everything.

"My interests are as varied as they are numerous—everything from immigration law to criminal defense to civil and human rights law. I plan to do some reflection in the coming months and figure out where and how my skills and talents can best served," Mire said.

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