Meet the Class OF 2015



Meng Shi

Beijing, China

1. Where did you grow up?

I was born and grew up in Beijing, China’s capital city and a world-famous tourism destination boasting historical heritage sites, flourishing performing arts industry, and China’s largest legal market featuring prestigious law firms and influential public interest organizations.

2. Where did you attend undergrad?

Since my childhood, I have been very interested in Chinese history and culture. I have read a lot of books about those fields in my spare time. Therefore, a strong desire to personally discover and experience the hidden secrets and civilization accumulation of China’s history directed me to go to Xi’an to pursue my undergraduate studies of Chinese Law. Xi’an was named Chang’an in ancient China and was the capital city of thirteen dynasties, such as the Western Han and Tang dynasties, which are often referred to as China’s golden and most magnificent times.

My undergraduate alma mater is Northwest University of Politics and Law, one of the largest nationally acclaimed universities with remarkable strengths in preparing legal professionals and producing legal scholarly works in China.

3. What degree(s) have you earned?

I obtained my Bachelor of Law (LL.B.) degree from Northwest University of Politics & Law in Xi’an, China. I got my Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree from Cornell University Law School in Ithaca, New York, the United States of America.

4. Why did you choose to attend OU Law?

When considering where to pursue my J.D. education, I am tremendously fascinated by all the extraordinary resources and opportunities that OU Law has to offer. Its several core advantages include a dedicated and talented faculty of top-notch legal scholars and practitioners, a distinctive mix of intellectual pursuits and international scope, a commitment to the rule of law and social justice, an intimate community atmosphere and a larger environment of a huge dynamic public research university, which will be an excellent setting for nurturing a multidisciplinary approach of understanding and contemplating about legal institutions.

Furthermore, I am very excited and desired to experience the Oklahoma flavor that embraces several captivating American spirits, such as democratic ideals, pursuit of liberty, cowboy courage and other charming Western personalities. Thus, studying at OU Law is much more than a legal education. It will be a fantastic cultural appreciation and an amazingly lifetime-enriching experience.

5. What is your favorite thing about OU?

OU has so many draws for me. My goal is to be a Chinese lawyer capable of handling cross-cultural intricacies and formulating effective, efficient and culturally sophisticated legal solutions for my clients and those underprivileged persons needing legal assistance. This goal requires me to study law in an interdisciplinary perspective. OU, a comprehensive research university, will definitely provide an unmatched environment for me to thrive personally and academically.

In addition, OU, the home of the Sooners sports teams, attracts me very much. Sports culture is one of the most important aspects of the American civilization characterized by freedom, liberty, the rule of law and the firm belief in the truth of “all men are created equal”. Through sporting events, I will have a better understanding of America, a great nation holding those self-evident truths in the Declaration of Independence and those fundamental legal principles and essential freedoms embodied in the U.S. Constitution, and a vibrant nation encouraging the youth to innovate, to chase dreams and to protect the freedoms. Thus, sports is absolutely a wonderful setting for me to experience these spiritual powers that all young persons throughout the world should possess in order to make this world, our common home, better and better.

6. What (or who) inspired you to pursue a legal education?

During my undergraduate legal studies in China, I enthusiastically participated in an array of extracurricular activities, including pro bono legal services programs, legal aid initiatives, law journal editing and group discussions and university-sponsored empirical research projects to help migrant workers, farmers, ethnic minority people, “left-behind children” and many other vulnerable groups who are actually deprived of effective legal protection in China. Their pitiful faces and helpless situations deeply impacted my soul. I heard the call from the law, and I am determined to answer that call. I wish to help these people protect their self-evident freedoms and rights. I wish to pursue further legal studies in the U.S. legal institutions and fundamental legal principles and cultural values in order to achieve my ultimate ambition of becoming a broad-minded lawyer with a truly global perspective while actively participating in and contributing to the transformation and development cause of China’s legal system and legal profession.

7. What is an interesting fact about you?

My lifestyle is vigorous and tasteful. I very much enjoyed reading and appreciating the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-A.D. 907) poems while looking at the picturesque scenery of Zhongnan Mountains, which are adjacent to my undergraduate alma mater in Xi’an, China. The mighty torrent of thousands of years rolled in my mind. I learned valuable lessons and gained wisdom from those epic stories.

In addition, by virtue of my experiences acquired from organizing cultural communication events and parties while studying for the LL.M. degree at Cornell, I plan to organize such activities at OU to provide a platform to promote multicultural interactions and form lifetime friendships.