Since taking on one of the most prestigious titles at Harvard University, Rachel Miller-Ziegler has been a little crunched for time – a problem she said she is happy to have.
Miller-Ziegler, who grew up in Carmichael, was elected president of the Harvard Law Review, a student-run publication for legal scholarship, on Feb. 1. The position, once held by President Barack Obama, is available only to second- or third-year law students.
The 26-year-old attended Rio Americano High School and participated in the school’s mock trial club. While she is currently more interested in civil law than in criminal trials, Miller-Ziegler called high school a “formative experience” and credited Rio teachers for her improved writing skills.
“I had some really excellent teachers who really cared about teaching,” she said. “They did a really good job of finding out what their students were interested in and tailoring the curriculum to that.”
Miller-Ziegler attended Deterding Elementary School and Winston Churchill Middle School in the San Juan School District. Her mother, Ruthann Ziegler, is a lawyer and her father, Paul Miller, is a physician.
After high school Miller-Ziegler launched off to Yale University, where she majored in physics and religious studies and got hooked on legal scholarship while researching a senior thesis about breast cancer gene patents. She worked as a legal assistant for two years after college before entering Harvard Law.
Now, after six months as an editor of the review, Miller-Ziegler is overseeing a 90-student staff as it works on monthly volumes containing 2,000 pages of student and faculty work. The staff is also aided by three business professionals.
“It’s a really fun extracurricular,” she said. “A time intensive one, but one that broadens beyond what I could learn in the classroom to see more current legal scholarship.”
In a few weeks, the review will launch a website under Miller-Ziegler’s supervision – a project that has been in the works for the past few years. During her time as president, Miller-Ziegler said she hopes to publish excellent scholarship while remaining responsive to current happenings in the legal world.
When not in class or at the review’s office, Miller-Ziegler enjoys baking and running. Though she said she does not return to Sacramento as often as she’d like to, she holds fond memories of the American River and misses the California weather.