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Patricia Soung is the Interim Executive Director for Children's Defense Fund - California. In this role, Patricia leads the organizations statewide advocacy, policy, program and organizing efforts to ensure access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low income families, reforming the juvenile justice system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty.
Previously, Patricia Soung was a visiting professor and acting director of the Juvenile Justice Clinic for the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy at Loyola Law School. Patricia coordinated amicus briefs and strategy on a number of key cases on juvenile sentencing, taught juvenile law and procedure, and represented youth in delinquency cases. Prior to that, Patricia was a staff attorney at the National Center for Youth Law, where she worked with a broad spectrum of stakeholders and youth to drive policy advocacy efforts to decrease the population of incarcerated youth and improve outcomes. Patricia was a Soros Justice Fellow at the Children and Family Justice Center, Northwestern University of Law where she worked to challenge juvenile life without parole sentences and wrongful convictions of youth through litigation, public education and community organizing. She has also represented juvenile and criminal clients as a panel attorney for the First District Appellate Project and California Appellate Project.
Soung earned her JD from Northwestern University School of Law, where she conducted independent research on juvenile justice and education issues, worked with several criminal and juvenile justice clinics, and served as a board member of Cross-City Campaign for School Reform and a planning member of the Harvard University Annual National Symposium on Education Reform. She graduated from Stanford University with honors in 2001, where she earned several distinctions for her commitment to public service and advocacy in anti-poverty projects.