New Law Review president faces gender issue


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Daniel Kirschner, 2L

With the selection of 2L Daniel Kirschner as the new President of the Harvard Law Review, the Review brings a new voice to the table in the organization’s ongoing gender imbalance debate.

Kirschner ran against seven candidates for the chance to lead and influence the nation’s largest Law Review on questions of publication, diversity of membership and local involvement. By all accounts, members of the Law Review — including even some opposing candidates — are thrilled by Kirschner’s election. Unassuming and certain of his vision, Kirschner has impressed his colleagues for his intellect as well as his kindness. One Review member described him as an “intellectual giant.”

Promising a regime of “decency,” Kirschner said he hopes to reflect many values that are increasingly emphasized at HLS through smaller sections, section funding and more law-school-wide events. He said that, “respectfulness towards other Law Review members and towards those in the Law School and the legal community is key to my leadership.”

Kirschner’s platform pledges to delegate responsibilities in recognition of the excellence of the editors, promising to “give the talented people at the Law Review the chance to contribute.”

Foremost among these is the transitional committee reviewing the recurring problem of gender imbalance on the Law Review. Kirschner believes that “gender diversity is an enormous problem and we must do something concrete to address the situation.” He added that, “the body is ready to do something, as they have signaled by voting for a transitional committee,” which will bring a final proposal before the entire Review later this spring.

That committee is confronted by a system which permits seven to nine spots on the Law Review to be given with regard to additional factors other than the writing competition or grades. Currently, gender is not one of the additional factors.

As part his aim to develop the relationship with the Law School as a whole, Kirschner points out an upcoming symposium on “Public Values in an Era of Privatization,” led by Prof. Martha Minow, as well as an upcoming event to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

While no final decision has been made, Kirscher said that he regards a healthy and vital community within the Law Review as “absolutely essential.” And how the affirmative action debate breaks down in the coming months may well have among the largest impact on the health and vitality of that community in decades.

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