Successful lawyer to address 'commencement ceremony'

A successful American Samoa lawyer who grew up in Apia with her grandmother will give the keynote address at the 74th American Samoa Community College commencement ceremony this Saturday.

In a statement issued on Saturday by the American Samoa Community College, the college announced that as has become standard practice for ASCC commencements, the Governor, the Board of Higher Education and other dignitaries have been invited to join the families and friends of the 71 prospective spring 2021 graduates this Friday (Saturday Samoan Time) on the malae fronting the college’s Multi-Purpose Center. 

To provide the keynote speech for the occasion, the college will welcome back ASCC alumnus and current practicing attorney Lornalei Meredith.

A member of the ASCC Class of 2005, Ms Meredith is the founder and owner of the local law firm Meredith Law.

The second daughter of Gwendolyn Ho Ching of Nu’uuli and Daniel Meredith of Faleapuna, Samoa, Ms Meredith is married to Malaeimi Fanene of Nu’uuli and Pago Pago. 

As a young girl, Ms Meredith spent most of her time in Apia with her paternal grandmother Lemalie, who spoke very little English, but imparted upon her the values of perseverance, hard work, service and attaining a good education.

In 2007, Ms Meredith graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in English. 

Immediately afterwards she moved back to American Samoa to teach English at Leone High School while preparing for law school. She next attended the J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, graduating with her Juris Doctorate in 2012. 

During her three years of law school, Ms Meredith was an active member of her student bar association and served in several organizations in various capacities – such as President of the Pacific Island Law Student Association, Vice President of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and as a senior editor of the Education Law Journal. 

In both her second and third years of law school, she received the Faculty Award for Meritorious Contribution and Distinguished Service.

Back in American Samoa since 2012, before going into private practice, Ms Meredith spent the early years of her legal career serving in the public sector as an Assistant Attorney General Chief Assistant in the Criminal Division and Civil Division, Chief Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Division, and in then 2017 as Deputy Attorney General for the American Samoa Government. 

In 2018, she entered into private practice founding MTL Law, which is now Meredith Law. She enjoys contributing to local community projects initiated by American Samoa Legal Aid and the American Samoa Bar Association, serving on both as a board member. 

Ms Meredith says she has a passion for innovative thinking and experiential learning, and a sense of adventure. 

When she is not working or helping her parents with their family business, she is often exploring the world with her husband and family.

“We were honored to have Lornalei accept our invitation to deliver the keynote address for this occasion,” said ASCC Dean of Student Services Dr. Emilia Le’i. 

“She has not only succeeded in the legal profession, but her years of public service should be an inspiration to the young people of the Territory. I’m sure her talk will be an inspiring one.” 

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