He hopes he inspires others to follow in his footsteps!
Jason Onyediri is making history as the first Black editor in chief of the Texas Law Review, Kera News reports.
The Texas Law Review is an independent legal scholarship journal, edited and published solely by students at the University of Texas School of Law. Established nearly a century ago, the Law Review publishes seven issues annually, compiling articles, essays, commentary, and student notes from professors, judges, legal experts and law practitioners. The purpose is to provide archiving for research done by members of the Bar, document the achievements of Texas lawyers, record progress made in the legal sector, offer a platform where student research and writing can be published and create a means of communication between the Law School and the Bar that’s mutually beneficial. To date, the Texas Law Review is one of the foremost reviews on legal scholarship, ranked ninth most cited legal periodical in federal and state U.S. cases and thirteenth most cited among legal journals.
Now, for the first time in 100 years, the Law Review has selected its first Black person to become editor in chief, UT law school student Jason Onyediri.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to have been selected and entrusted with this position…At the same time, it’s a bit of a long overdue milestone. And I’m so happy that Texas Law Review has sort of taken a step in this direction. I think that it’s really positive, and it’s going to be beneficial for the journal as we sort of think about what the next century looks like,” Onyediri told reporters.
While it wasn’t necessarily a position he envisioned on his bucket list, becoming editor in chief has been a dream come true for Onyediri. He gives credit to all the students at the law school who he describes as “tremendous and incredibly intellectual and capable,” saying he’s just happy to be chosen among his peers. His goal in his new role is to expound on the incredible work already established by the Law Review, focusing on making sure that contributing members are also supported in their own mental health and well-being.
“That’s extraordinarily important to me, and that’s something that I’ve conveyed to members of the editorial board is, you know, we’re living in tough enough times, and I think it’s important to make sure that we check in with folks and make their experience here very positive,” said Onyediri.
He also wants to expand the Law Review's imprint on the Texas legal community at large, focusing on making the review more inclusive so that law school students outside the review and elsewhere can get a better grasp of the significance of the journal and their role in the legal community.
While he knows that his new role comes with its fair share of challenges, Onyediri said he’s mainly excited and just really honored to get to work. He’s hoping to use his discretion to collaborate with his team on shaping the journal and making it the best it can possibly be under his leadership. His historic appointment marks a new shift at the UT School of Law, and he hopes that inspires other students across the country to go into leadership positions in their respective sectors.
“I think it’s a really important thing, [my selection], and I hope that folks will take a look at not just my position, but the number of folks at law reviews across the country who can say they were the first Black editor in chief of their law review. I hope that inspires folks; I hope that they take a look at that and think whatever sort of endeavor that they’re engaged in, they take a look and say, ‘Well, maybe I can be the first person who looks the way I do, who has my lived experience to take a position of leadership here.’ I think that would be my ultimate goal, and that’s something that I hope comes from this.
Congratulations, Jason! Because of you, we can!
Photo Courtesy of KUT News