Harvard Law Review Elects its First Black Female President in its 130 Year History

by wagatwe –

In “great but way overdue” news: The Harvard Law Review has elected its first Black female president. The highly regarded publication, which had its first black male president when Obama attended 27 years ago, finally reached this milestone after 130 years in existence.

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Congrats to Imeime Umana, HLS ’18, on her selection as President of the Harvard Law Review. 1st black woman to serve as President.

Imeime Umana, a 24-year-old woman born to two Nigerian immigrants (I know Trump wouldn’t be happy to hear that), spoke about her election in an interview with The New York Times and why this is a Pretty Big Deal:

[Harvard Law Review’s] presidency is considered the highest-ranking student position at the ferociously competitive law school and a ticket to virtually anywhere in the legal realm. Half of the current Supreme Court justices served on the Harvard Law Review, though none as its president.

“It still feels like magic that I’m here,” Ms. Umana said in an interview, though her fellow students said it was not magic at all but her sharp legal mind, intense work ethic, leadership ability and generosity of spirit that catapulted her to the top.

The interview paints Umana as the type of person America desperately needs more of in the legal system. Imagine how many lives would have been saved from the injustices of the courts if we had more knowledgeable, sympathetic people running them? As someone who looks at the law’s intersections of race and gender, she really seems to get it:

Unlike the vast majority of graduates of the nation’s top law schools, Ms. Umana says she has no interest in joining a high-paying corporate firm. Her dream for now is to become a public defender, a goal she set after an eye-opening internship last summer in the public defender’s office in the Bronx. She plans to work this summer with the public defender in Washington.

“A lot of the clients I worked with that summer and since have looked a lot like me,” she said. “They are disproportionately represented on the unfortunate end of the legal system, so it struck a little closer to home.”

Congrats to Umana. I look forward to see what will be done at the Review under her leadership.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos