Badass Woman #4: ImeIme Umana

ImeIme UmanaIn January, ImeIme Umana was elected the first Black woman president of the Harvard Law Review.

A law review is a scholarly journal focusing on legal issues. The editors of the Harvard Law Review are 92 students who are selected on a mostly competitive basis, and then the editors all vote on which editor will be president. The law review president is basically the highest position a student can hold at Harvard Law School — and the Harvard Law Review is one of the most prestigious law journals in the world, with the largest circulation of any law review.

Past presidents of the Harvard Law Review include Barack Obama, who was the first Black president of the law review in 1990.

Did I mention that Umana is the daughter of immigrants? Her parents came to the U.S. from Nigeria. Umana is the third-oldest of four daughters.

She did her undergraduate studies at Harvard as well, writing a thesis on the adverse effects of voter-identification laws on minority voters (and earning honors for that thesis).

Being president of Harvard Law Review opens a lot of doors to high-paying corporate legal jobs, but Umana wants to be a public defender, after a summer internship at the public defender’s office in the Bronx.

She told The New York Times in an interview, “A lot of the clients I worked with that summer and since have looked a lot like me. They are disproportionately represented on the unfortunate end of the legal system, so it struck a little closer to home.”

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