In January 2019, I received the highest honor of my law school career—I was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Duke Law Journal. My predecessor quickly announced my election to a group of EICs from other schools. Additional election results soon followed: Noor Hasan, California Law Review; Nicole Collins, Stanford Law Review; Ela Leshem, Yale Law Journal. As is customary, our congratulations went to the outgoing EICs and (jokingly) our condolences to the incoming ones. Results continued to pour in: Maia Cole, New York University Law Review; Christina Wu, Texas Law Review; Lauren Kloss, Cornell Law Review. I watched closely: Lauren Beck, Harvard Law Review; Annie Prossnitz, Northwestern University Law Review; Gabriella Ravida, Pennsylvania Law Review; Laura Toulme, Virginia Law Review; Emily Vernon, University of Chicago Law Review. Cautious excitement. Mary Marshall, Columbia Law Review; Alveena Shah, UCLA Law Review; Sarah McDonald, Michigan Law Review. Holding my breath. Grace Paras, Georgetown Law Journal.
The Editors-in-Chief at the flagship law reviews of the top sixteen law schools in the country were all—for the first time ever—women.
What follows is a commemoration of this anomaly. Celebrating in concert with the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the sixteen of us joined forces to publish a series of essays by prominent women in the legal community. Our hope was that these women would share the lessons they learned in pursuit of their prominence and that along the way, we would learn a little more about who we are—and who we hope to become.
This publication and the accompanying event could not have been possible without the support and mentorship of the Duke Law faculty—particularly Dean Kerry Abrams, Dean Katharine T. Bartlett, and Professors Kathryn Webb Bradley, Marin K. Levy, and Neil S. Siegel—and the hard work of my dear friend and Duke Law Journal Executive Editor, Nicole Wittstein. “Thank you” cannot even begin to express the gratitude they deserve.
The inescapable reality of our legal system is that it was built by men occupying the highest echelons of this profession. That fact dominates our legal education and continues to shape our view of women leaders. Candidly, our achievement was surprising because it is unexpected to see women in such high positions at such high numbers. I treasure what we have accomplished, recognize that our work is incomplete, and hope that in a hundred years, the women and men of the legal community look back at this with bewilderment—for what we recognize today as exceptional has become, to them, utterly ordinary.
Duke Law Journal
Family, Gender, and Leadership in the Legal Profession, Kerry Abrams
Motherhood as Misogyny, Jane H. Aiken
On Power & Indian Country, Maggie Blackhawk
Reflections of a Lady Lawyer, Lisa Blatt
The Nerve: Women of Color in the Legal Academy, Khiara M. Bridges
Inching Toward Equal Dignity, Denise Brogan-Kator
On Firsts, Feminism, and the Future of the Legal Profession, Risa L. Goluboff
Carrying on 'Korematsu:' Reflections on My Father's Legacy, Karen Korematsu
Reconstituting the Future: An Equality Amendment, Catherine A. MacKinnon and Kimberlé W. Crenshaw
Law School in a Different Voice, Melissa Murray
Experience on the Bench, Rebecca R. Pallmeyer
Kafka's Court: Seeking Law and Justice at Guantanamo Bay, Alka Pradhan
A Personal Essay, Nitza I. Quiñones Alejandro