Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Justice Ginsburg's reason for success in law school

Justice Ginsburg in her own words, emphasis added:
Advice from my father-in-law has also served me well. He gave it during my gap years, 1954–56, when husband Marty was fulfilling his obligation to the Army as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. 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 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Many times after, when the road was rocky, I thought back to Father’s wisdom, spent no time fretting, and found a way to do what I thought important to get done.

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 due in large measure to baby Jane. I attended classes and studied diligently until four 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.
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (2016-10-03T23:58:59). My Own Words. Simon & Schuster. Kindle Edition.

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