National Pre-Law Jurist The magazine honored Meleana “Mana” Shim, a University of Hawaii student at the Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, as one of the top 10 female law students in the nation.
Shim was selected from approximately 200 American Bar Association-accredited law schools nationwide.
She is a third-year law student and retired professional soccer player who is dedicated to activism, athletics, mental health, and public service.
“Mana is both fearless and self-aware, and she is a constant and supportive student, classmate, and ally,” said UH law professor Dina Shek.
Shim has bravely spoken out against sexual misconduct in the National Women’s Soccer League, working for policy change and using her voice to raise awareness to ensure a safer environment for athletes. She advocated for change within the league nationally and locally in Hawaiʻi — while a full-time law student.
“Mana Shim embodies the qualities of an extraordinary advocate, a trusted advisor, a visionary leader and a courageous changemaker,” said Molly Levinson, States Women’s National Team Player Advisor. -United. “Behind the scenes, she made even more of a difference, devoting her time, energy and many talents to a complete overhaul of the league’s leadership, culture, policies and procedures. It is both comforting and inspiring to know that she is the future of law.
Shim’s exceptional dedication was evident in his work ethic, commitment and compassion for the clients of the Office of the Public Defender.
She has been an active member of the UH Law School Mental Health Committee, speaking out on LGBTQ+ and mental health issues, and continuing to work for change and awareness. Shim has also been involved in community mental health outreach as a volunteer for the Institute of Human Services.
Shim is also co-chair of Lawyers Against Sexual Violence and the Ka Huli Ao Center of Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, an academic center that promotes education, scholarship, community outreach, and collaboration on issues of law, culture, and justice for Native Hawaiians and other Pacific and Indigenous peoples. She received the Advocates for Public Interest Law Fellowship and worked for the Hawaiʻi Land Trust.
Shim was a member of UH Law School’s inaugural Island Leadership Lab, an immersive leadership experience focused on building next-generation leaders to succeed; the initiative was started by the Dean of the UH School of Law, Camille Nelson.
“I am inspired by Mana’s courageous leadership,” Nelson said. “His integrity and bravery chart a better course for those in similar situations and those seeking to effect transformative change in pursuit of justice in myriad spaces and places. I am grateful to him for his empathy, dedication and tireless advocacy.