Image credit: Iman Masmoudi via REUTERS

The Harvard Law Review, one of the most prestigious U.S. law journals, elected its first Muslim president in its 134-year history, and he is of Egyptian-American descent.

The 26-year-old Los-Angeles born Harvard Law School student, Hassan Shahawy expressed his hopes in this election amplifying the importance of diversity in legal academia. “Coming from a community routinely demonised in American public discourse, I hope this represents some progress, even if small and symbolic”, Shahawy told Reuters in an email.

Having graduated from Harvard in 2016 with an undergrad degree in History and Near Eastern Studies, Shahawy then pursued a doctorate in Oriental Studies and studied Islamic Law as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford. He works with refugee populations, and on criminal justice reform.

Some of the most prominent political and legal figures worked at Harvard Law Review, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, who was the journal’s first black president in 1990. Among the editors of the Harvard Law Review are three serving members of the Supreme Court, as were the late Justices Ruth Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia.

It is truly a remarkable step forward in the name of cultural inclusivity and unbiased progress. The Harvard Law Review is paving the way for more and more firms to adopt an equal approach with equal opportunities when nominating positions of power. Humanity is certainly headed in the right direction.