If She Could Do It, So Can We!

Catching up on old issues of the NYTimes and read Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Op-Ed from Oct 2. Truly inspirational words about the people in her life who helped her and supported her through her life from her parents to her teachers to her in-laws and husband. It can’t have been easy to enter law school in 1956 when women accounted for less than 3% of all lawyers in the U.S… and she was pregnant with her first child. Here is her father-in-law’s advice to her at the time:

“By the end of 1954, my pregnancy was confirmed. We looked forward to becoming three in July 1955, but I worried about starting law school the next year with an infant to care for. Father’s advice: “Ruth, if you don’t want to start law school, you have a good reason to resist the undertaking. No one will think the less of you if you make that choice. But if you really want to study law, you will stop worrying and find a way to manage child and school.” And so Marty and I did, by engaging a nanny on school days from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.Work-life balance was a term not yet coined in the years my children were young; it is aptly descriptive of the time distribution I experienced. My success in law school, I have no doubt, was in large measure because of baby Jane. I attended classes and studied diligently until 4 in the afternoon; the next hours were Jane’s time, spent at the park, playing silly games or singing funny songs, reading picture books and A. A. Milne poems, and bathing and feeding her. After Jane’s bedtime, I returned to the law books with renewed will. Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.”