Law School Discussion

First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review

First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« on: March 08, 2006, 08:22:39 AM »
 
 
http://www.insidebayarea.com/oaklandtribune/ci_3580565
   
 ROBERT BOONE, 23, a second-year law student at the Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, was selected last month as editor in chief of the California Law Review. He is the first African American to hold the post. (Ray Chavez - Staff)   
 
BERKELEY The day Robert Boone walked into the Boalt Hall School of Law, he was already a trailblazer of sorts.
Boone is one of only 44 African-American students who were accepted into Boalt in 2004 and is one of only 15 who ultimately enrolled in the law school.

Now in his second year, Boone is blazing a new kind of trail at Boalt, the public law school at UC Berkeley.

The 23-year-old Nashville native was appointed last month as editor in chief of the California Law Review, the school's storied, 94-year-old student-run legal journal. Spotty records make it hard to know for sure, but Boone and others believe he is the first black student to hold the top job at the review, which publishes six issues a year with articles submitted by leading law scholars from throughout the nation.

The appointment was well deserved, said fellow student Emmanuel Andre, co-president of Law Students of African Descent at Boalt.

"Robert's one of the hardest-working students out here," Andre said. "Usually, Robert's one of the first students I see at the school (in the morning) and usually one of the last to leave."

But Andre said Boone's new job also sends an important message about the changing face of Boalt and can inspire aspiring law students.

"For certain students, to see a student of color in that position, especially an African-American male, it just does a lot," Andre said. "Because Boalt is a public university, the school should reflect the community as a whole, and this really shows that we can hold positions throughout the whole school."


Boone said he was excited and honored to be chosen editor in chief, and he hopes his selection encourages other minority students to become involved in the journal.

"I hope people feel inspired that they can do it," said Boone, who added that one of his goals is to break down a perception of the law review as an elitist, cloistered publication.

"They tend to attract the top students, they don't have open meetings, and everything's just very internalized," said Boone, who wants to hold training seminars and symposiums on legal writing that would be open to the entire school, not just members of the review.

"If people want to go, they can feel welcome, as opposed to (the review) being this mysterious organization," he said.

Only 50 students are selected each year to become members of the review through an evaluation process called a "write on" that includes a written legal analysis and personal 
 
 
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statement.

Boone was one of only three African-American students who made it onto the journal last year. The previous year, no black students were on the journal.

Attracting minorities has been a challenge for law reviews across the nation, Boone said. And statistics show that the legal profession and law schools in general are largely white affairs.

In California, 84 percent of the attorneys who belong to the bar are white, while 1.7 percent are African American and 3.8 are Latino, according to the results of a survey conducted in December and January. The survey results were printed in the March issue of the California Bar Journal, published by the State Bar of California.

Boalt and other law schools also have struggled to attract minorities.

Out of 264 first-year students who enrolled in Boalt in the fall, 186 nearly 71 percent were white. Asians were the next-largest ethnic group, with 47 students. The first-year class included 19 Latino students, nine African-American students and three American Indians.

Boone, who received his undergraduate degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., said Boalt's ethnic makeup is similar to other law schools he considered. He chose Boalt for the quality of its education and its emphasis on "real-world" education, but he was also swayed by the opportunity to join the campus the same year Christopher Edley took over as dean.

With his appointment at Boalt, Edley, a noted expert in civil rights law, became the first African-American dean at a leading law school.

"I felt (Boalt) was really a place I could be comfortable," Boone aid.

Boone who was elected editor in chief based on a vote by other members of the law review hopes his prominent position in the school can help others feel comfortable, too.

"For me, personally, I hope it inspires more members of underrepresented minority groups to get on the law review," Boone said, "because across the country we don't see a whole lot of that."
 

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2006, 08:27:28 AM »
EXCELLENT NEWS!!!! :)

Slow Blues

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2006, 08:32:57 AM »
Nice. Hopefully that'll be me in 2 years at CLS.

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2006, 08:52:09 AM »
That's great news!

Quote
In California, 84 percent of the attorneys who belong to the bar are white, while 1.7 percent are African American.

Damn that number is embarassingly low. What's up with that? It's not like there aren't any black people in Cali.

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 08:54:55 AM »
possibly due to the fact that the cost of living is entirely too high in California- more specifically Los Angeles.. if people are coming out of law school with 100k plus debt I believe that it would be very hard to settle in California right away...

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 09:00:23 AM »
That's hot. Even better is that Cali outlawed AA, so nobody can take anything from him.

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 09:03:12 AM »
I know Cali is expensive, but so is D.C. and New York and there are, okay a few more, black lawyers there.

Hybrid Vigor

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Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 09:08:56 AM »
There aren't alot of Black people in Cali. Outside of Oakland and the Crenshaw district in Los Angeles, there are virtually none - esp compared to the South/East Coast. California is a huge state and the Bay/LA are just parts of it, definitely not representative of the rest of the state. Most young Black professionals flock to NY/DC because there's critical masses of other YBPs...there isn't in Cali. California is very integrated, and the people who are drawn to it appreciate that mixing. You can't have all Black anything out there. That's something I love about the state but some people aren't feeling that.


And somebody find a picture of this cat. If he's cute, I might start stalking him  :D :D :D

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Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2006, 09:44:11 AM »
That's what I'm talkin about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We should all be doing that at our respective schools.  Let these folks know you mean business.

crazy8

Re: First Black Editor of Boalt Law Review
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2006, 10:21:50 AM »
That's what I'm talkin about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We should all be doing that at our respective schools.  Let these folks know you mean business.

Anyone have a take on why black law students aren't really going out for law review?  I mean, I plan on doing it at where ever I end up.  Is it that they aren't applying for it, or are they just not being accepted?