For the first time, three Black women students are leading three of the seven prestigious law journals at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School: Chayla Sherrod L’23, University of Pennsylvania Law Review; Simone Hunter-Hobson L’23, Journal of Constitutional Law; and Layla June West L’23, Journal of Law & Social Change.
When Chayla Sherrod learned she had been selected as the next editor of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review — the oldest and one of the most prestigious law journals in the country — she was thrilled.
Then she found out her law school classmates Simone Hunter-Hobson and Layla June West would be the editors of two other law journals at Penn, marking the first time in Penn’s history that three of its seven law journals are being led by Black women.
“I felt kind of like this silent support already,” said Sherrod, 25, of Bridgeport, Conn.
Editors in chief of the student-staffed journals, which select and publish leading legal scholarship by academics and students, are selected by student editors from the prior year.
The women are among 7.2% of the 824-member law school student body who identify as Black, although a similar percentage reported they are two or more races.
“We’re small, but we’re mighty,” said Hunter-Hobson, 24, who grew up in Harlem and who is editor in chief of the Journal of Constitutional Law and president of Penn’s Black Law Students Association.