A Black woman has been elected president of the Harvard Law Review—the first in the revered publication’s 130-year history.
ImeIme Umana, one of four daughters born to Nigerian immigrants, was elected as the 131st president of the Review out of 12 candidates, eight of whom were minorities and eight of whom were women. She is the second African American to snag the coveted position: Barack Obama became the first when he was elected in 1990.
“It still feels like magic that I’m here,” Umana told The New York Times of her election to the highly competitive position at the most-circulated journal in the world.
But colleagues and others said Umana’s election was not by chance.
“ImeIme is one of the most brilliant, thoughtful, and dedicated people I’ve ever met, and the Law Review is in phenomenally good hands,” said Michael Zuckerman, Umana’s predecessor, in a statement. “Like many others around campus, I’ve been blown away by ImeIme since she was an undergraduate in Harvard’s Lowell House, and it has been thrilling to watch the Law Review’s membership recognize so heartily what a special human being she is. I am excited for all of the amazing work that she will do for our institution in the year ahead.”
Umana, a native of State College, Pa., is a 2014 graduate of Harvard College, where she earned dual degrees in African American studies and government. She plans to intern with the public defender’s office in Washington, D.C. And, she has already lined up a clerkship with Judge Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia upon her graduation next year.