The Legal Beat
For The First Time In History, The Majority Of The Harvard Law Review’s New Editors Are Women
Posted on Monday October 16, 2017
For all of the recent efforts by law schools and law firms that have been dedicated to gender diversity in the legal profession, one area that often goes neglected is the gender makeup of the nation’s top law reviews. As it did with its decision to accept the GRE as an alternative to the LSAT, Harvard Law School has once again taken the lead, this time, with the gender composition of its prestigious law review.
In 2013, the Harvard Law Review decided to include gender as part of its admissions process, and just last year, it welcomed its most diverse class of editors ever. Following up on those accomplishments, the Harvard Law Review recently elected ImeIme A. Umana to serve as its president, the first black woman to serve in that role. Now, for the first time in its 131-year history, the Harvard Law Review has selected an editorial class where the majority of its members are women. There are 24 women and 22 men in this year’s class of new editors. As detailed in the Harvard Crimson, some people were incredulous that the Harvard Law Review would do such a thing:
Leila Bijan, one of the newly selected editors and a vice president of the Women’s Law Association, said she counted the names on the list she was sent the day she was accepted and was very impressed by the number of women.
“It actually caught my eye that there were a lot of women on there, and I went through and I counted that there were more women than men,” Bijan said. “I remember telling one of my friends that and I think his reaction was, ‘Oh I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like something that would happen on the Law Review.’”
That did happen on the Harvard Law Review, and it should happen on law reviews at law schools across the country. Why? Umana has a very good reason: “Bringing together editors from different backgrounds uniquely enriches our writing and editing process. Perhaps more importantly, achieving gender parity underscores an unequivocal truth: women belong on the Law Review.”
Will more top law schools welcome majority-women editorial classes? We suppose we’ll have to wait to see if Harvard Law just started another trend.
Law Review Elects First Ever Majority Female Class [Harvard Crimson]
Staci Zaretsky has been an editor at Above the Law since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.