Season 3, Ep 07: Shaping the Future of Justice: Mirna Santiago’s Impact Through Girls Rule the Law

“There should be something I can do to make it easier for the girls who had my own experiences so they’re not bumping around in the dark like I was,” says today’s guest Mirna Santiago, lawyer lecturer and “bias-buster” who founded Girls Rule the Law, which provides underprivileged and underrepresented middle and high school girls the opportunity to learn about the law, the legislature and the judiciary. An Afro-Latina immigrant to the South Bronx, Mirna grew up feeling underrepresented and alone in her lived experiences. Only after returning to the Bronx years later, and seeing how little had changed, did she realize it was up to her to show young women what the world holds for them if they’re willing to roll up their sleeves. On today’s episode, Mirna talks to host Robbin Jorgensen about the programs that Girls Rule the Law offers, including the mock trial series that both ignite students’ passion and provide them with the frameworks that will allow them to make their voices heard.


Following the dictum that “your network determines your net worth,” Girls Rule events put students in touch with professional women from across the legal profession. They learn etiquette, interviewing skills, resume building and are granted access to the kind of professional attire that will allow them to move fluidly in a variety of situations. 


How is Girls Rule shaping the future of justice?  Find out on today’s episode. 



  • “There should be something I can do to make it easier for the girls who had my own experiences so they’re not bumping around in the dark like I was.” (2:39 | Mirna Santiago) 
  • “So, we’re trying to create a network of women that are going to help these young ladies, give them internships and jobs and that sort of thing. And that was really the impetus. It was just like, ‘Oh, my God, I ran away from this place all these years ago and it’s still exactly the same.’ And it’s not fair to the kids that are still here that people like me do run away.”  (7:09 | Mirna Santiago) 
  • “I don’t feel that the impetus is going to be there when I retire. It’s not going to be there 13,15 years from now because things are happening now. There are rollbacks of our reproductive rights right now, there are rollbacks of other people’s freedoms now, with the LGBTQ. So, for me, I feel like I need to empower women to speak out now, to be in the places that matter now, and not 15 years from now or 13 years from now when it would be easiest for me to do. It’s not always easy to do what’s right.”  (9:01 | Mirna Santiago)
  • “If you can see it, you can be it. Initially when I went to the schools, I would try to dress down because I just wanted them to see me as one of the people they see every day. And they started asking me, ‘Well, is that what you’d wear to court?’ and I thought, ‘Oh, wow.’ So, I started going in suits and they were far more impressed with that.” (15:46 | Mirna Santiago)
  • “The kids want to feel like they’re having fun even as they’re learning, and I think everybody really wants that.” (22:56 | Mirna Santiago)