Who should be an editor at the Harvard Law Review?

It no longer matters who’s best qualified for the job.  In today’s PC culture, it’s all about appearances and the Harvard Law Review is no exception.

Carl Straumstein of Inside Higher Ed reports.

Harvard Law Review to consider gender in editor selection process

The Harvard Law Review will this year consider gender when selecting students for its 2014 board of editors, a decision that is likely to inflame a more than three-decade-long debate on affirmative action.

The number of women editors this year fell to its lowest point in about two decades — even as the Harvard Law School itself nears gender parity. Of the law review’s 44 editors, only 9 are women. Women make up 48 percent of the class of 2015.

The law review’s decision to adopt the policy adds to the ongoing debate on affirmative action. The U.S. Supreme Court will this year rule on whether race can be a factor in college admissions after hearing oral arguments in the case Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin last October. More recently, the debate about gender disparity in academic research flared when the legal scholar submission service Scholastica’s practice of asking its users for demographic data came into focus.

The policy change will in reality only affect the 12 positions (the number will increase from 10 this year) that are filled by a discretionary committee. In selecting the editors, members of the committee consider such factors as academic achievement, race and physical disabilities. Of the remaining 34 positions on the board, 20 are filled based on the results from the law school’s first-year writing test, and 14 on a combination of their grades and writing test results. Official policy dictates no editor be made aware of which stage of the process resulted in his or her selection.