Law Review Elects First Openly Gay President

BY JENNY PAUL

Members of the Harvard Law Review have elected Mitchell Reich ’12 as the 125th president of the publication.

Reich assumed his presidential duties in January, and will oversee the publication until January 2012.

“I’m confident that Mitch will be a superb president,” outgoing President Zach Schauf ’11 said in an e-mail. “He’s a wonderful editor – insightful and hardworking – and he has earned the deep respect of our editors.”

Reich is the first openly gay student to be elected to the Law Review presidency. Reich, who came out during the summer after his freshman year of college at Yale, said his sexuality was a “non-issue” in the election because the Law Review is diverse and accepting of many viewpoints.

“Thinking back to what it was like not being out in high school and before, I did think when I won about how much it would have mattered to me to have seen people in the types of positions that I wanted to be in who were out,” Reich said. “It’s a real challenge when you’re that age and you’re struggling with your identity to think, ‘What type of person could I be when I get older?’ so that mattered a lot.”

The Law Review is a student-run journal that publishes eight issues from November to June of each year. As president, Reich edits student notes and articles by outside authors and performs various administrative duties. Since the transition, he has been at the Law Review offices in Gannett House from about 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. each day, minus the time he spends in class.

This summer, Reich will work at the Department of Justice and at the State Department. He said he isn’t sure where he will work after graduation, but might work as a government litigator.

Although he has assumed what is arguably the most prestigious student position on the Harvard Law campus, Reich said he didn’t always want to go to law school. Early in his college career, he thought he would end up doing policy work in Washington, D.C.

“I found that when I started thinking about the law, it was a chance to work on issues that mattered a lot, but in a way that I felt a lot more intellectually satisfying,” Reich said. “It’s all just so challenging and nuanced that I’ve really loved being in law school. I’m actually surprised at how much of a joy it’s been.” 

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