LA-born Harvard law school student Hassaan Shahawy was elected to the top position of the prestigious US law journal, whose previous holders include former US President Barack Obama.
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".
"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.
Shahawy graduated from Harvard as an undergraduate in 2016 with a degree in History and Near Eastern Studies. He then attended the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar to pursue a doctorate in oriental studies and studied Islamic law.
Shahawy said he has been active working with refugee populations and on criminal justice reform.
His future plans are unclear, though he cited the possibility of becoming a public interest lawyer or working in academia.
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.
Obama was named Harvard Law Review’s first Black president in 1990.
Three serving members of the US Supreme Court were editors of the journal, as were the late Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.
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.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay connected