Founded in 1977 and currently working on its thirty-seventh volume, the Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (originally the Harvard Women’s Law Journal) is the nation’s oldest continuously publishing feminist law journal. The JLG is devoted to the advancement of feminist jurisprudence and the study of law and gender. By combining political, economic, historical, sociological, and legal perspectives, we seek to clarify legal issues that have gendered aspects and implications, and to confront new challenges to full social equality. Our journal also explores the interconnections between race, class, sexuality, and gender in the law.
In the fall of 1976, then 1L Sheila Kuehl (class of 1978) began planning an event entitled “Celebration 25: A Generation of Women at Harvard Law School,” which was held in the spring of 1978. Celebration 25 commemorated the anniversary of the 1953 HLS graduating class, the first class that included women graduates, and highlighted the important contributions of women students. The publication committee of Celebration 25 titled their commemorative book of essays on women and the law the Harvard Women’s Law Journal. The founding members’ objective of creating a feminist jurisprudence still drives the JLG today. Click here for a collection of reflections written by former JLG members (including several founding members) about their time working on the journal in honor of JLG‘s thirty-fifth birthday.
The reduction of blatant sexism in many areas of society has not diminished the need to explore and change the interaction between women, gender, sexuality, and the law. We seek to accomplish these goals in an inclusive manner. In the Tenth Anniversary Edition of WLJ, Christine Littleton elaborated on the development of a feminist jurisprudence and the crucial role of JLG/WLJ:
Rather than seeking merely to distinguish ourselves from others, in the time-honored manner of traditional male legal discourse, feminists must explore the paradox of commonality in diversity that is our experience as women. Part of the strength of the feminist jurisprudence, which the Harvard Women’s Law Journal has helped to foster, has been the embracing of just this paradox.
The Journal of Law and Gender offers its staff an opportunity to develop important legal research, editing, and writing skills and engage with feminist legal scholarship in a fun and collaborative environment. We provide opportunities for our 1L members to participate in the editing process, article selection, and conference planning. We also offer our members the chance to be part of a supportive community of scholars and activists committed to social and gender equality. Additionally, we encourage our members to research and write in those areas of the law in which they are particularly interested.
JLG seeks both to promote discussion within feminist and progressive communities and to bring about legal and social reform. We work to achieve gender equality for all people. JLG benefits from the experiences, viewpoints, and skills of its staff, and therefore welcomes students with diverse backgrounds and interests. Thank you for your interest in our publication!
Elizabeth Jensen and Sarah Jeong
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