South Carolina Law Review elects first black woman editor-in-chief

For the first time in its 69-year history, the South Carolina Law Review has elected an African-American to serve as its editor-in-chief. Chelsea Evans, a second-year law student from North Myrtle Beach, S.C., was elected by peers to lead the esteemed University of South Carolina School of Law publication.

“I’m proud to belong to and lead such a talented, motivated and accomplished team. Serving as editor-in-chief will be challenging and will require a great deal of hard work and diligence, but we have a great board of editors, and I am confident that we will continue to uphold the reputation and legacy of the South Carolina Law Review,” Evans said.

Evans, who was elected Feb. 13 by the journal’s 59 student editors, will lead the South Carolina Law Review for a one-year term. Published four times annually, the publication is a resource for the legal and academic community and is one of the most frequently cited legal journals in the country.

“I’m incredibly humbled to be elected editor-in-chief, and I hope that my election encourages more women and people of color to pursue law degrees, journal membership and the position of editor-in-chief,” Evans said.

Evans graduated magna cum laude from the university in 2014 with a degree in public health. She says doing policy research work as a mayor’s fellow in Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin’s office and doing economic development work for EngenuitySC led her to study law. The opportunity to sharpen her skills in legal research, writing and analysis lured her to the South Carolina Law Review.

Dean Rob Wilcox is confident in Evans ability to build on the law review’s reputation and raise its visibility.

“I have no doubt that Chelsea will experience many important achievements like this one in her career,” Wilcox said. “Her confidence, her talent, and her leadership give her the ability to make everyone she works with better.  As a result, there is no limit on what she can achieve.”

Law professor Joseph Seiner isn’t surprised to see Evans chosen to lead the law review.

“Chelsea is a wonderful, dedicated research assistant who always provides thoughtful and reasoned analysis in her work,” Seiner said. “She is quite simply one of the sharpest and most reliable students I have worked with and I have no doubt that she will be highly successful in her new leadership role.”

Evans will balance the demands of South Carolina Law Review with her other law school activities. In addition to serving as a research assistant and a member of the Pro Bono Board, Evans participates in other student organizations, including the Black Law Students Association. Evans also has served as a mentor to middle-school students in the Constitutional Scholars Pipeline Program, an initiative that encourages minority students to pursue a career in law. On top of that, she is a judicial extern for U.S. District Court Judge J. Michelle Childs.

When thinking about life after law school, Evans says she is interested in corporate law and will continue to invest herself in service work and the community wherever she lives.

“I entered law school with a public health background and a love for service, but I have become even more empathetic. Law school has taught me to view the world differently and to analyze situations from different perspectives,” Evans said.

As part of her careful time management, Evans makes a point to carve out time for her friends and family, particularly with her sister Taylor, an undergraduate student at Carolina.

Founded in 1948, the South Carolina Law Review can trace its roots back to 1831, when the Carolina Bar Journal briefly was published in Columbia before the Civil War. Today, it is one of the most active legal journals in the nation. Learn more online at The law review's website.