As the Inaugural Sui-Wah Li Lou Memorial Scholar Christy Li ’21 Pursues Her Dream of Becoming a Lawyer and Serving the Public
1L Christy Li has been selected as the first recipient of the Sui-Wah Li Lou Memorial Scholarship at St. John’s Law. The full-tuition scholarship was established with a significant gift from New York City businessman Peter Lou in honor of his late wife, Sui-Wah Li Lou (no relation to Christy Li).
“I’m very grateful to Mr. Lou for his incredible generosity,” says Li, who will receive the scholarship each year of her full-time legal studies at St. John’s. “That the Lou scholarship supports Chinese and Chinese-American law students who seek to pursue a career in the public interest at St. John’s is particularly meaningful to me.”
“My mother came to the United States in the 1980s and, isolated in her new community, she feared and distrusted the law and law enforcement—knowing that reporting any crime, whether as a victim or a witness, could lead to her deportation,” Li explains. “Her outlook and struggles have shaped my determination to give back to my Chinese community, and to serve all New Yorkers, as an Assistant District Attorney. It’s my hope that, as a lawyer, I can help future generations of Chinese Americans gain a much-deserved voice.”
The Sui-Wah Li Lou Memorial Scholarship furthers the Law School’s founding commitment to providing a first-rate legal education to students who have faced barriers to achievement historically. “We continue that commitment to serving underrepresented communities today, in a warm, welcoming, and inclusive environment,” says Sarah Jean Kelly, associate dean for administration and graduate studies. “The Lou Scholarship, along with other scholarships funded by St. John’s Law alumni and friends, provide vital support to our students and our institution as we strive to build a more diverse legal profession committed to equity within the legal system.”
Recently, Christy Li had the opportunity to express her gratitude to Peter Lou in person, when he came to St. John’s Law to meet her and to receive a plaque commemorating his scholarship gift. “It's so wonderful when our donors get to see the tangible fruits of their generosity,” says Dean Michael A. Simons, who was on hand for the special presentation. “Peter Lou’s substantial support will make it possible for Christy, and other deserving students in the future, to fulfill their dream of becoming a lawyer and giving back to their community.”