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Harvard Legislation Assessment appoints first Muslim president in 134-year historical past

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Hassaan Shahwy, 26, graduated Harvard as an undergraduate in 2016 with a level in Historical past and Close to Jap Research. Picture: Reuters
  • US legislation journal elects first Muslim president
  • Harvard Legislation Faculty scholar Hassaan Shahawy hopes his election represented “authorized academia’s rising recognition of the significance of range”
  • Law reviews are staffed by the top students at US law schools

BOSTON: The Harvard Law Review has named a Los Angeles-born Egyptian-American as what it believes is its first Muslim president in its 134-year history, elevating him to the top of one of the most prestigious US law journals.

Harvard Law School student Hassaan Shahawy said he hoped his election represented “legal academia’s growing recognition of the importance of diversity, and perhaps its growing respect for other legal traditions.”

Among the legal and political luminaries who have worked at the Harvard Law Review was former U.S. President Barack Obama, named the journal’s first Black president in 1990. Three serving members of the U.S. Supreme Court were editors of the Harvard Law Review, as were the late Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.

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“Coming from a community routinely demonized in American public discourse, I hope this represents some progress, even if small and symbolic,” Shahawy, 26, told Reuters in an email.

Law reviews are staffed by the top students at US law schools, who are often recruited for judicial clerkships and other prestigious jobs in the profession.

The review’s first female president, Susan Estrich, was elected in 1977. Other presidents have been Latino and openly gay. The first Black woman was elected president in 2017.

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Shahawy graduated Harvard as an undergraduate in 2016 with a level in Historical past and Close to Jap Research. He then attended the College of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to pursue a doctorate in Oriental Research and studied Islamic legislation.

Shahawy stated he has been energetic working with refugee populations and on legal justice reform. His future plans are unclear, although he cited the potential for turning into a public curiosity lawyer or working in academia.

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