Profile: Michael Thomas, President of Harvard Law Review
Fall 2018 | By Ope Adebanjo ’20
As Harvard Law Review President, BLSA member Michael Thomas finds inspiration for the hard work of the role from a myriad of places. As his tenure as President comes to a close, he reflects that he has found the work of HLR deeply satisfying and fun, as he continues to learn new things each day on the job. He also acknowledges that he is grateful to have a strong support system in many areas of his life, from the hardworking HLR editors—to which he feels a sense of responsibility to curate great content and cultivate a supportive community—to the BLSA community—which he considers a family that he can lean on when things get tough. Thomas was grateful to have found a mentor in former HLR President and BLSA member ImeIme Umana. Her work and advice has been vital in making the transition smooth for Thomas this year. But Thomas acknowledges that there are just some things you can’t prepare for until you are in the role, so he often draws from a set of life experiences to direct his actions, including his experiences as an HLR editor last year and his work before law school in the New York City Mayor’s Office.
Reflecting on his experiences thus far, Thomas recognizes that his time at HLS will have a profound impact on his life and work moving forward. He is incredibly happy to have grown so much in the past two and half years in ways he couldn’t have predicted when he first started this journey. From these experiences, he offers wise advice to present and future black law students. Law school, or any place like this, is yours. You belong here, so own it. Take advantage of the resources and allow yourself to be
surprised by yourself and your work. Be open to asking questions, talking to your professors, and learning about what the future can look like from others who have come before you.
As Thomas graduates in May, he will leave a powerful legacy for many Harvard Law students to come. However, Thomas hopes that future students will see in his experiences that you can have an impact by being yourself. You don’t have to change yourself to have an impact. For Thomas, it is important to know what authenticity means to you and what feeds you. Your success should be tied to that.
Read further coverage of Michael Thomas in The Harvard Gazette