By Alex Resnak
Jeannine Holmes (JD ’22), a college student at the College of Law, made history as the first black editor-in-chief of Law Review.
Holmes says she was initially unaware of the performance, but the meaning is not lost on her.
“It means a lot to me,” says Holmes. “I think representation is really important. For me it has always been important to see black people, especially black women, in legal spaces. It gives black women the motivation to keep pursuing their goals, and it only makes it more enjoyable knowing that you will see yourself in certain places. “
A sophomore law student, Holmes co-chaired the Law Review Diversity Committee. She also wrote an analysis of how an argument of “freedom of association” would play against the US Supreme Court ruling in Bostock against Clayton County, which broadened the definition of “gender” under Title VII to include sexual orientation.
Holmes says her goal has always been to become a lawyer, and as an army brat who moved across the country in her childhood, she has taken a similarly winding path to get here.
In 2008 she graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in English. She then studied fashion for a year at New York’s Parsons School of Design. While in New York, Holmes started a fashion company with a classmate and some of her clothes appeared on VH1’s Love & Hip Hop. It wasn’t enough to pay the bills, however.
Holmes worked in the human resources department during the day, conducting investigations. There her desire to become a lawyer returned.
“One boss told me I have a passion for investigation, so I should be a lawyer,” says Holmes. “I told her I always wanted to be a lawyer, and it went from there.”
In 2016, Holmes moved to Atlanta to work at Emory Healthcare, where her interest in law deepened. She discovered the College of Law’s nationally recognized part-time program that gave her the opportunity to enroll in law school while keeping her job as senior manager of Emory’s sports medicine program.
Although Holmes is preoccupied with school and work, she has found time to participate in other curriculum activities such as the Black Law Students Association. She takes advocacy courses to become a litigator after graduation.
“When you work full-time and try to go to school, you express yourself every little minute,” says Holmes. “Every time I have an hour between meetings or a break between work and class, I find something to do during that time. It’s all about time management. “
Before long, Holmes will be able to focus solely on its legal activities, including legal review. Holmes said she had seen the progress the organization had made towards inclusion under Editor-in-Chief Nick Daly and Editor-in-Chief Alex McDonald over the past year, and she wanted a position that would enable her to drive that progress forward.
“I just want to keep going,” says Holmes. “I’ve seen all of the progress they have made with diversity and inclusion, and I want to continue to build on that. I also want to find ways to make the handling process more efficient and handle any changes due to COVID-19. “
Photos by Steven Thackston