Success Profile: Imelme Umana, The First Black Female President of the Harvard Law Review

Imelme Umana became the first black female president of the Harvard Law Review, a post that was held by former United States President Barack Obama in 1990. Umana will be the 131st president of the legal journal.

While pursuing her Undergraduate degree, Umana double majored in African-American studies and government while holding a title of President of the Institute of Politics. She realized her passion after working as a criminal law investigative intern for the public defender’s office in Washington, D.C. in 2013, where her eyes were opened to the injustices around her. Prior to this title, Umana has served as Associate Editor for the Harvard Undergraduate Law Review, Chair of Community Action Committee with Harvard University Institute of Politics and President of Student Advisory Committee. Now as a Nigerian doctoral candidate at Harvard Law School, Umana dedicates her work to exploring stereotypes of black women in American political discourse.

According to its website, ‘‘The Harvard Law Review is a student-run organization whose primary purpose is to publish a journal of legal scholarship. The Review comes out monthly from November through June and has roughly 2,500 pages per volume”. Students are able to gain editorial skills and knowledge to use in their future law endeavors. Judges and scholars actually use the reviews as sources for legal arguments.

She will oversee 90 staff members including student editors and permanent faculty members and act as the liaison between both.

Her election is a historical moment and steps toward breaking barriers with the African American woman and the legal community.


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