Getting Personal: Miranda Soucie

Getting Personal: Miranda Soucie

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, Miranda L. Soucie, 33, of Urbana, a partner at Spiros Law, the firm she joined in 2010, chats with staff writer Paul Wood. She's fond of cats and dogs and enjoys going on mission trips.

Where did you grow up and what brought you here?

I grew up in a small town on the north shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Canada. Since I was 12, I have been a part of Drum and Bugle Corps, which resulted in my traveling throughout the U.S. every summer. As a result, I moved to the U.S. for college.

What's the most important thing to you right now?

Making a difference. Making a difference in my community, the world and with the people I interact with every day.

Tell us about your law specialty.

My practice is exclusively civil litigation, with a focus on people. I represent injured people and their families after a serious accident or injury has not only caused them injury but has disrupted their lives.

You're president of the East Central Illinois Women Attorneys Association. What are you working on right now?

On Feb. 28, we will host a judicial candidates forum at the University of Illinois College of Law in conjunction with the University of Illinois College of Law's Women's Law Society. The event is from 6 to 8 p.m. and is an opportunity to have the public interact with members of our legal community to engage them about the upcoming judicial elections.

You have a 5:30 a.m. crew at Raw Fitness. What kind of workouts do you do?

I would call our workouts functional fitness. We focus on a combination of body weight, suspension training and dumbbell training, with high-intensity interval training and stretching to round it out. It's a great stress reliever.

You have two cats and two dogs. Do they fight like cats and dogs? It sounds like fun for all five of you.

Thankfully, no, they don't fight with each other at all. In fact, my three-legged dog, Hops, loves to cuddle and lick my three-legged cat, Peggy-Sue. They are all a bundle of energy and definitely keep me on my toes. Thankfully, I have a wonderful partner, Chris, who does a great job keeping them all in line.

Where are some of the places you've most enjoyed traveling to?

I'd have to say Scotland and Lisanjala, Malawi, Africa. Scotland is just a beautiful, natural spectacle with some of the funniest people I've ever met. Jumping into Loch Ness at 3 a.m. is also a pretty great memory. In terms of Lisanjala, it's really about the people for me. I have yet to meet a culture of people that are so kind, faithful, selfless and full of joy. I've been there twice now, and the joy is infectious. I would challenge anyone to go and not come back with a new perspective on life.

Do you have a favorite memory of the UI College of Law?

In 2008, I directed and produced "The Vagina Monologues" using a cast of entirely law students. Almost 25 women from all different backgrounds came together to raise money for local organizations such as rape-crisis services. That experience resulted in many friendships. To this day, those women are some of my most dear friends.

Tell us about your mission trip to Malawi.

I recently returned from a trip to Malawi, a small country in Eastern Africa. I, along with 10 others, traveled to Malawi representing Copper Creek Church in Champaign. This is the ninth year members of our church have traveled across the globe to visit our sister church in Lisanjala, and my second time. As our stay went on, we were able to sit down (with a translator of course) and have honest conversations with high school students about the struggles of making it through school. We were able to have an open dialogue with female leaders in the community about clean water and teenage pregnancy. These are conversations that would never have been possible nine years ago. They were made possible because of a relationship that has stood the test of those nine years and the many miles between.

Do you have a guilty pleasure and what is it?

A cast-iron chocolate chip cookie topped with heavy whipped cream. After a long, difficult week, there is nothing better.

Where on Earth are you dying to go? Why?

India. My boyfriend and I love Indian cuisine. The flavors, the smells, the colors. We'd love to go experience it all in person.

Tell me about your favorite pet.

I have four, and as a pet mother, am I allowed to choose? However, it's clearly Barley. She is my baby. She's a 5-year-old boxer mix that is stronger, smarter and sillier than anything I know.

What's your favorite sports team?

Team Canada (I love the Winter Olympics).

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite? What would you serve?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Queen Elizabeth and Taylor Swift. OK, so the last one seems pretty random and is somewhat controversial. However, all three women have set new standards for what it means to be a woman in modern society. We would definitely have wine, and I'd likely make small plates, tapas style, to share. I'd want it to be a more casual, free-to-share type of environment.

Which historical figure do you admire the most and why?

I know she's not historical, but she is a legend in her own right — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I studied law so that I could be an advocate for people. Not just any people, but people who can't advocate for themselves. Justice Ginsburg embodies the ideal advocate in my mind. She fights for what she believes in, she doesn't back down, she stands up for the little guy and she listens to all points of view, including people who are starkly opposed to her ideas.

What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?

I worked at Pit Stop Gas Station in Echo Bay, Ontario. It was a full-service gas station. I pumped gas, checked oil, washed windshields and pumped propane. We did this 364 days a year, even when it was -30 degrees. I started at the age of 15 and made $6.85 per hour to start. I worked there until I was 18.