Second-year student Tatiana Hyman ’22 was recently elected editor-in-chief of the Fordham Law Review. She is the first Black student to ever hold the position in the history of the journal, which has been published continuously since 1935.
Though she does not officially assume the editor-in-chief role until the end of the academic year, her responsibilities have already begun, as she has already started planning for the 90th volume of the Law Review, which will be published in six issues over the 2021–22 school year.
A Lifelong Passion for the Law
“Growing up, I always had an interest in the law,” remembers Tatiana Hyman ’22. “When I was three or four, I would tell my family members that I was going to be president of the United States.”
The New York City native then carved an educational path with a legal career in mind. Her first internship as a teen was in the mayor’s office, and as an undergraduate at University of Pennsylvania, she studied criminology. After working for a few years as a compliance analyst at Morgan Stanley, she felt ready to take the inevitable next step: law school. Coming back to New York was non-negotiable for her, as her family, who immigrated from Jamaica, was here. “I really wanted to be closer to my family during law school, which I knew would be a more stressful experience for me,” she notes.
The election process for the Law Review was no small feat. In addition to her 2L classwork and duties as vice president of Fordham’s Black Law Students Association chapter (BLSA), Hyman had to complete a publishable note and go through 10 interviews with the journal’s current editorial board before being elected to the editor-in-chief role. Despite all the work, she knew it would be worth it. “I think that’s just who I am,” she explains. “I don’t shy away from challenges… It took a lot of grit.”
“It’s an amazing feeling, knowing a barrier has been broken… I recognize the institutional, structural, and historical hurdles, but for me, it was primarily a mental hurdle,” she says. During her 1L year, she remembers that there were no other Black students on the Law Review staff. “I think people who do not have the experience of being the minority don’t understand the mental fortitude and courage it takes to go into spaces where you are the only person who looks like you.”
Naturally, she already has several goals in mind for her tenure at the helm of the journal. “I’d love to make Law Review a more transparent publication,” she says. “So that other incoming 1L students have a better idea of what journals do. And I’m also making it a priority to amplify voices that are underrepresented.”
Hyman says she is “overwhelmed” by the positive responses she has received upon her appointment, and she hopes that her time as editor-in-chief will make it clear that exceptional Black students are “not an anomaly.” During her lengthy interview process, she watched with the rest of the nation as Kamala Harris was sworn in as our country’s first Black vice president. Witnessing that milestone bolstered her own confidence, she recalls, saying, “In two words: Representation matters.”