Xinning Shirley Liu receives scholarship for commitment to diversity

Published: March 2nd, 2009

Category: News

Xinning Shirley Liu, a second-year law student born in China, is the recipient of the Constangy, Brooks & Smith Diversity Scholars Award. This $2,000 annual award is presented to a second-year law student in each region the firm has offices.

“I was very pleasantly surprised and honored to have received this award.” said Liu, who is a first-generation college and law student. “In our dynamic multicultural society, it’s wonderful to see great firms reaching out and encouraging diversity in the legal workplace.”

Constangy initiated this award program in order to recognize the achievements of law students who have demonstrated their interest in diversity and their continued commitment to diversity in the profession of law. Liu was also the recipient of a similar Diversity Scholarship awarded by Foley & Lardner LLP in 2008.

Liu was motivated to pursue a career law through her childhood experience of helping her parents with the family business. She noticed a sharp disparity between the numbers of lawyers who were available to serve the Asian-American community. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Fujianese, Liu hopes to fulfill that role and to serve as a role model for other ethnically diverse law students.

Committed to furthering diversity in the legal profession, Liu is currently the president of the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA) and the secretary for the International Law Society. Liu has also served as the vice president of special events for the Law Association for Women, where she coordinated events such as the Women Judge Panel.

“I think it is important to identify your interests and find a nice balance,” said Liu. “For me, staying active throughout the semester has helped to give more meaning to my overall law school experience.”

During her undergrad at the University of Miami, Liu loved to study abroad, going overseas on three occasions.

“I love studying different cultures, meeting different people and especially trying new food.” said Liu, who has studied at Oxford University, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University (in Beijing, China).

Following college graduation, Liu was awarded a Fulbright fellowship by the U.S. Department of State to conduct research on social and economic development in China.

Liu said that her favorite study abroad experience was in Hong Kong. “Hong Kong is a rare and eclectic mix of the two worlds I adore; a dazzling metropolis of East meets West.” Liu said. “I can go have authentic Chinese food one night, and then I can go and have good steak and burgers the next.”