Many people in L.A.
will tell you that, no matter what they do to bring home a paycheck, they are
really actors. Leah Cohen-Mays says that she is a law student who just happens
to work as a professional actress. She enjoys providing the voice of Cleo in
"Tutenstein" on Discovery Kids, teaching hip-hop to children at
Reflections Dance Studio in Woodland Hills, and acting in commercials for
Wal-Mart and promos for the TV show "Monk." She recently completed a
stint on "Dance Revolution," a Saturday morning program on CBS where
she coached kids to dance in an effort to encourage young viewers at home to
get off of the couch and move.
But the second-year evening student is so much more than just another talent in a sea of aspiring stars. Cohen-Mays uses her intelligence and enthusiasm to contribute to her law school experience. Looking at her list of extracurricular activities at Southwestern, one wonders where she finds the time for showbiz and volunteer work. She is a member of the Moot Court Honors Program, a writer for the Commentator, the Fundraising Chair for BLSA, Secretary of the Christian Legal Society, and as a member of the Public Interest Law Committee, she served as Chairperson of the Trivia Bowl Challenge during Public Interest Law Week, co-writing 175 questions as well as hosting the competition. "I love this place!" Cohen-Mays said of Southwestern.
"I love the professors, the students, and Dean Garth. He's funny and cool and open to what you have to say."
Born in Tarboro, North Carolina, and raised in Miami, Florida, Cohen-Mays earned her bachelors degree from Hampton University in Virginia, where she studied biology and considered becoming a doctor. She was in a Post-Baccalaureate program at the University of Miami when her advisor suggested she work in a hospital to see if medical school was the right decision before making the seven-year commitment to it. She volunteered at the Miami Children's Hospital where she realized the medical profession was not for her.
After college, Cohen-Mays moved to L.A. and spent seven years working in human resources at Capitol Records. If it seems that her career pursuits have run the gamut, one thing is certain: she wants to use her law degree to help others, especially youth, in need. "I have that crazy creative personality that I don't know exactly what I want to do, but I know what I want to eventually achieve, to be a judge," she said. "But I'm exploring my options to learn the best path to get there while helping children along the way."