Georgetown law journal editor openly undocumented, an advocate for diverse voices

The Washington Post recently profiled Georgetown Law student Agnes Lee (SFS’17, L’22), thought to be the first openly undocumented student to serve as editor-in-chief of the flagship journal at a top law school.

Born in South Korea, Lee moved to the United States at age 2 and grew up in Los Angeles. She first learned of her undocumented status when applying to college. Just a few years later, as a Georgetown University senior, Lee was sharing her story at a Gaston Hall TEDx event. “I am undocumented and unafraid,” she said.

Building a more representative law journal

Now, Lee—who is temporarily protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program—has been elected to lead The Georgetown Law Journal. In that role, considered the law school’s top student position, Lee is working “to broaden and diversify the ranks of authors and student leaders,” the Post writes.

Lee and other journal members have thus far selected 13 articles for publication; seven of those were written by authors of color, and five by female authors. Saying that the law review has “a privilege and responsibility to move scholarship forward,” Lee notes the potential for innovative, rigorously researched pieces to advance the “fight for human rights and civil rights.”

“This new generation of lawyers coming in is including more voices and more diverse voices, and that just fills me with such hope for how strong we will become in terms of the law and our society,” Eun Hee Han, Lee’s legal writing professor, told the Post.

Lee says that while her post atop the law review masthead “swings open doors I never thought could be possible,” many of those doors close “as I let people know my status.” For instance, as a student with DACA protection, Lee is ineligible to work as a law clerk for federal judges in major U.S. cities.

Still, “with every accomplishment [Lee] achieves, she turns around and thinks of how to smooth the road for those behind her,” Han said.

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