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Susan Estrich waited 12 hours while the board of the Harvard Law Review deliberated. When it was over, she found herself the first woman president of the 89-year-old legal journal, one of the most prestigious and influential publications in its field. After a five-minute acceptance speech, Susan, 23, celebrated her victory at a beer-and-pizza party with friends. “A lot of people in the outside world told me that with only four women and some 60 men voting, I didn’t have a chance,” she said. “I proved them wrong and the Harvard Law Review proved them wrong.” A political science graduate of Wellesley and a second-year law student with an A average, Susan will head a staff of 66 for the next eight issues of the Review. It publishes articles by lawyers, professors and scholars and comments on court decisions and other areas of the law. Susan expects to spend 60 to 100 hours a week in her new job while still carrying a full course load. She has worked as a secretary, cocktail waitress and bartender and is unsure which direction to go in the law after graduation in 1977. “The options are open. There’s not much time right now to think about the future.” But, “I guess I’d like to change the world a little bit.”

Michael W. Higgins started an investment management firm in Detroit six years ago with a small apartment building financed by $4,000 from his own savings and $11,000 put up by friends and family. Today his holdings number 1,300 units in 31 buildings and, at 27, he is president and chairman of Higgins Management, which controls assets of $5 million. A college dropout, Higgins was a complaint taker for Detroit Edison when he founded his company. He worked nights and weekends to manage the buildings, drawing no salary for two years. Higgins gambled on restoring structurally sound, handsome buildings of the ’20s and ’30s in the old Indian Village section of the city. His renovations included the addition of luxury features and security systems, and have resulted in the revival of whole neighborhoods. Higgins’ $210 weekly salary today is pretty modest for a land baron. “A parking attendant in one of my apartment garages makes more, with overtime, than I do,” admits Higgins. A bachelor, he would rather plow the profits back into the business. Higgins predicts that housing costs will rise substantially in the near future. “Watch out,” he warns. “Before you know it, a much higher percentage of your income is going to go for rent—no matter where you live.”