First Hispanic To Lead Harvard Law Review


Sixteen years after Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) became the first African-American to lead the Harvard Law Review (HLR), Andrew M. Crespo ’05 has been elected the journal’s first Hispanic president in 120 years. [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]

“I feel incredibly privileged to have this opportunity, and hope that, in some small way, this opens the door a little bit more for minorities in the legal profession, in the legal society, and at excellent law schools like Harvard,” said the second year law student.

“I think it is very significant,” added Aileen M. McGrath, the HLR’s departing president. “It shows a great sign about the direction the Law Review is moving in.”

Crespo, whose parents are both Puerto Rican, learned that he had been chosen for the post on Saturday night.

“I was incredibly humbled,” he said. “It was a really amazing reaction.”

Students who worked with Crespo on the HLR praised his ability to bring others together and his commitment to the journal.

“He’s done excellent work consistently throughout the year,” said McGrath. “Andrew seems to demonstrate an ability to lead the organization, and building consensus is part of that.”

Crespo said he does not plan to focus on changing the HLR’s structure or article selection process when he takes over at Gannett House, the journal’s headquarters on the Harvard Law School campus, but rather that one of his top priorities will be to increase diversity in the newsroom and to improve outreach. [SEE CORRECTION BELOW]

“We want to focus on recruiting the best individuals to make sure that we have a solid and diverse class coming in,” he said.

The HLR will also establish a forum to continue relationships and friendships for all of its 86 members after graduation, Crespo added.

His future after his tenure at the HLR remains a little more unclear, however.

Unlike Obama, Crespo does not have any presidential ambitions as of yet. For the time being, he is content with just focusing on the task at hand.

“It’s definitely a lot of work, so I’m thinking of the next two months,” he said.

—Staff writer Kevin Zhou can be reached at

The Feb. 6 news article "First Hispanic To Lead Harvard Law Review" incorrectly stated that Sen. Barack H. Obama (D-Ill.) was elected to lead the Harvard Law Review in 1991, when in fact he became the group's president in 1990. The same article also erroneously referred to the Review's "newsroom." The student-edited legal periodical does not maintain a newsroom at its Gannett House headquarters.