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78 Harv. L. Rec. 1 (1984)

handle is hein.journals/hlrec78 and id is 1 raw text is: 49RAR 495                             RE-CORD
America's Oldest Law School Newspaper

FEBRUARY 10, 1984

25 CENTS

ILs Urge
Grade-Blind
Law Review
By Beth Bergman
The Harvard Law Review is once
again under fire, but this time its
assailants are 60% of the first-year
class. Members of the Class of 1986
are circulating the following peti.
tion: We the undersigned iLs
pledge to withhold our first-year
grades from consideration by the
Harvard Law Review if 75% or more
of the class of 1986 signs the pe-
tition.
The short petition is designed to
undermine the grade-based track
in the controversial two-track se-
lection process for eligibility for the
Harvard Law Review.
The grade-based track precedes
the annual fall writing competition
for second-year students. Typically,
four or five students from each sec-
tion are chosen after first-year ex-
ams conclude, and approximately
20 more are elected to the Law Re-
view based on an intensive two-
stage research and writing com-
petition.
The originators of the petition,
Susan Keller and Carol Steiker, do
not want their eligibility for Har-
vard Law Review to be judged on
grades, but rather on criteria that
are more relevant to journal-writ-
ing. These include research, writing,
and, perhaps most importantly, an
expression of desire and commit-
ment to do the job.
Keller criticized the system for
its unbalanced bestowal of Law Re-
view membership on a few select
students who have no input in the
(Continued on Page 15)

Madtlne Th.oa
First-year students caucus to discuss Law Review selection and con-
troversial no-grade petition.
Workig Class Students Find
AdjustmentDifficult

By Mike Isbell

For a small but distinct minority
of Harvard law students, enrolling
here requires more than the stan-
dard degree of coping with new sur-
roundings. These students must
deal with an alien environment
which often ignores their own cul-
tural experiences.
Sometimes I feel myself trans-
lating to try to hear people and
speak to people who come from
privileged backgrounds in class
terms, said Muhammad Kenyatta,
3L, who grew up in an inner city
working class neighborhood. There
is a sense of foreignness.
Kenyatta and others who were
raised in working class surround-
983 BY THE HARVARD LAW SCHOOL RECORD CORPORATI

ings are strangers to much of what
happens at HLS. Their interests
here are unrepresented by any stu-
dent organization. Their concerns
and perspectives are often ignored
in the classroom.
When you get here, an assump-
tion among most of the faculty and
your fellow students is that you are
of middle class stock, said Paul
DiDonato, a second-year student
who comes from a working class
neighborhood in south Philadelphia.
That assumption and all the as-
sumptions that flow out of that
shapes those individuals' reactions
toward you, You are out of sync
when you come from a long history
of a working class family and when
(Continued on Page 13)

VOL. 78, NO. I

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