Student Spotlight: Sophie Pu ’24

Tell us about your experience in the Global Justice Clinic.

Sophie Pu
Sophie Pu ’24

I am from Hong Kong, and having not grown up around lawyers, and certainly not lawyers from the US, I didn’t realize that so much of the first years of law school would be spent solely on classroom-centered academic activity. Being a part of the Global Justice Clinic changed that for me. Not only has it created the most expansive, kind, and generative space in my schooling thus far, I also finally feel like my career choice is putting me in service of others. The web of white supremacist capitalism is pervasive, but my peers (and friends) in the clinic, our supervisors (Meg Sattherthwaite and Katie Gallagher in particular), and the speakers they invite remind me that there is hope. I am a better advocate because of this clinic, and I truly cannot recommend it enough.

What first inspired you to pursue a career in law?
Growing up in Hong Kong, and particularly in my adolescent years, there was a sense that justice as a prevailing tenet was slowly disintegrating. When I was younger, I think I really believed in the idea that justice—traditional and institutional—could be restored. I saw the US as a model for that, and then I got here, and realized that dominant institutions will always have a panoply of tools at their disposal to chip away at our freedoms. But being at NYU and being around people who are creative and radical in their conception of what a just world looks like is incredibly hopeful. The law necessarily brings us into and forces us to legitimize the capitalist-carceral ecosystem, but I am reminded every day how justice can and will be different.

Tell us about your experience as a staff editor of the Journal of International Law and Politics at NYU.
I’m not going to say it’s not a lot of work, particularly as a board member now, but it feels important in many ways. Every time we platform an author whose language or personhood would’ve complicated their publishing journey, I feel renewed in our work. International law is an ever-growing field, and this growth should be attributed to scholars and advocates from countries outside of the Global North who are pushing us all to challenge neo-imperialism and change how we think about what it means to share this planet with others.

What is one thing that instantly makes your day better?
A silly little afternoon sweet; Butterfingers are the choice du jour right now. Also an extra long hug from a friend!

Posted on May 31, 2023