Big achievement

Harvard Law Review elects its 1st black female president

ImeIme Umana, the first black woman to be elected president of the 130-year-old Harvard Law Review, at Gannett House on campus in Cambridge, Mass., Feb. 15, 2017. (Tony Luong/The New York Times)

ImeIme Umana, a 24-year-old Harvard Law student, has been elected president of the Harvard Law Review, one of the most prestigious legal journals in the world. As The New York Times reports, Umana is the first black woman to hold the title in the publication’s 130-year-history.  (Twenty-seven years ago, the Harvard Law Review elected its first black, male president: a promising student named Barack Obama.)

Umana secured the coveted position after a rigorous period of evaluation that spanned the course of two days. As president, she will preside over a team of editors at the student-run publication.

Presidents of the Harvard Law Review are effectively guaranteed their pick of jobs upon graduation, but Umana is not interested in high-paying sectors of the legal realm. She told the Times that she hopes to become a public defender — an aspiration that was sparked by her internship at a public defender’s office in the Bronx.

“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.”

Umana’s mind dwells on these clients, and particularly on minority women like herself. She told the Times that as she prepares to take on the Harvard Law Review, she “can’t help but think of the multitude of young black women who will never be anywhere near such an amount of privilege.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.


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