O'Connor, Runckel and O'Malley LLP would like to announce our 2020 law school scholarship recipient, Annie Liu. Annie is a first-year law student at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is the proud daughter of Taiwanese immigrants and the first person in her family to pursue a law degree. Growing up in a low-income household, Annie shared in her family's struggle to overcome financial hardships and make a better life for themselves.
Following her graduation from Harvard University with a degree in Sociology, Annie joined the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office as a Strategy Analyst. She played an integral role in the creation of the Crime Strategies Unit (“CSU”), a special operations team that combined the office’s best legal talents with cutting-edge technology to concentrate resources on prosecuting Manhattan’s most violent criminals. CSU paved the way for prosecutors to take on more proactive roles, not only in prosecuting crime but also in rehabilitating the communities most afflicted by it. CSU quickly became a model for innovative prosecution and has been replicated by dozens of district attorney’s offices nationwide.
Annie’s commitment to social justice eventually transformed into a passion for the practice of law. She left CSU after a 4-year tenure to explore these interests and develop a more nuanced view of the criminal justice system. She has had the opportunity to work with judges in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and most recently, in the Northern District of Illinois.
Working in chambers, Annie has been fortunate to observe, not only the power of the law to change people, but also the power of the people to change laws. She has come to realize that although this country’s legal system was founded on the promise of equal justice, this promise remains elusive for far too many people. As an aspiring lawyer, Annie hopes to advocate for underrepresented populations and to serve as a leader for change in criminal justice reform.
We look forward to seeing Annie succeed in her upcoming years at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law.