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Harvard Law Review Names First Latina President

The Harvard Law Review has elected its first ever Latina president.

Priscila Coronado, a California-born daughter of Mexican immigrants, was named the 136th president of the law review this past week. The Harvard Law Review is one of the most prestigious in the nation. Past alumni of the review include Barack Obama.

“Priscila is a rigorous scholar and a passionate advocate. From the start, she has impressed her fellow editors with her remarkable intelligence, profound humility, and deep commitment to service. Her values represent the very best of the Review. I cannot wait to see what Volume 136 will achieve under her inspiring leadership,” Hassaan Shahawy, the 135th president of the law review, tells Harvard Law Today.

A FIRST-GENERATION STUDENT

Coronado was born and raised in Downey, California, a suburb in southeast Los Angeles. She became the first in her family to attend college and graduated magna cum laude from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in English with college honors, departmental honors, and Phi Beta Kappa.

“I actually graduated high school and started at UCLA thinking that I was going to pursue medical school,” Coronado says in an interview. “However, I quickly realized that the medical field was not for me. I chose to major in English, another abiding interest, instead. I found that I loved reading, writing, and research. When it came to deciding what I wanted to do after college, I knew law school was the right fit for me. I would be able to combine my interests of reading, writing, and research while hopefully making meaningful change and interacting with people from different backgrounds. After college, I worked at the Disability Rights Legal Center in Los Angeles. Working there confirmed my interest in going to law school.”

At Harvard Law, Coronado is involved with First Class, a student organization dedicated to first-generation and low-income students, and La Alianza, a student organization for Latinx students. She is also involved the Child Advocacy Program Clinic.

“It is an honor that my peers have entrusted me with this institution,” Coronado says in regard to being elected president of the law review. “I don’t take this role lightly. It also means a lot to be a part of a historic moment. I see my status as the first Latina to mean two things. On the one hand, I don’t want to downplay the achievement or the tangible way that growing up in a two-Mexican-immigrant working-class household has shaped my perspective on the law. They are fundamental to the editorial perspective I bring. On the other hand, I really don’t want my status as the first Latina president to morph into some kind of ‘model minority’ narrative. I believe with every ounce of my soul that there are countless other Latinas who are equally incisive in their logic and reasoning but will never get an opportunity like this because of something as out-of-their-control as where they were born.”

Sources: Harvard Law Today, Harvard Law Today

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