The Harvard Law Review has elected Apsara Iyer as its 137th president, making her the first Indian-American woman to head the prestigious publication in its 136-year history.
The 29-year-old Harvard Law School student, who has been investigating art crime and repatriation since 2018, succeeds Priscila Coronado.
“Since joining the Law Review, I have been inspired by her (Priscila’s) skillful management, compassion, and capacity to build vibrant, inclusive communities. I am so grateful that we ‘Volume 137’ inherit her legacy, and I am honored to continue building on this important work over the next year,” Iyer said in a statement announcing her appointment.
Iyer graduated from Yale in 2016 with a B.A. in Economics and Math, and Spanish. Her dedication to archaeology and indigenous communities led her to pursue an MPhil at Oxford as a Clarendon Scholar and, in 2018, to join the Manhattan District Attorney’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit (ATU), a Harvard Law Review release said.
At the ATU, she investigated art crime, coordinating with international and federal law-enforcement authorities to repatriate more than 1,100 stolen works of art to 15 different countries.
Iyer enrolled at Harvard Law School in the fall of 2020, where she is a student in the International Human Rights Clinic and member of the South Asian Law Students Association.
Committed to fighting illicit antiquities trafficking, Iyer took a leave of absence from Harvard Law School in 2021-22 to return to the DA’s Office, where she worked on an international antiquities trafficking investigation and rose to be the deputy of the ATU.
“Apsara has changed the lives of many editors for the better, and I know she will continue to do so. From the start, she has impressed her fellow editors with her remarkable intelligence, thoughtfulness, warmth, and fierce advocacy. The Law Review is extremely lucky to have her lead this institution,” Iyer’s predecessor, Coronado, said.
The Law Review, founded in 1887 by future Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, LLB 1887, is an entirely student-edited journal with the largest circulation of any law journal in the world.
Former President Barack Obama was the journal’s first Black president.