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The Harvard Law Review elected its first non-white president in a 17-hour meeting ending yesterday morning.
Seventy Law Review members voted in the meeting, choosing Raj R. Marphatia '81 from a group of 13 second-year candidates nominated in mid-January.
Candidates were judged on the basis of their work on the Review, their relations with other members, and their stated platforms.
Past president Adam S. Cohen '84 said the election of a non-white candidate was "a significant good thing," although Marphatia's ethnic background was not a factor.
Born and raised in India, Marphatia came to the United States in 1977 as a Rotary Exchange high school student. He remained in the country to attend Harvard, where he was a resident of Dunster House. Marphatia is the third straight president of the Review to have lived in Dunster as an undergraduate.
After graduating, Marphatia obtained an M.A. in accounting from Northeastern University. He then worked for three years for the Boston accounting firm Peat, Marwick and Mitchell as tax consultant. He entered Harvard Law School in the fall of 1985.
Marphatia said his platform stressed "de-emphasizing the hierarchy, and making the Review a more egalitarian place."
The Law Review's power structure is divided between the masthead--composed of the president, treasurer and executive editors--and the departments, known as offices.
Marphatia said that Cohen has tried, during his presidency, to "share the power between the masthead and the offices," and that he plans to continue to decentralize the magazine.
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