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Ginsburg Tells Utah Lawyers to Make a Difference

By William Vogeler, Esq. on August 01, 2017 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's not quite as rare as a solar eclipse, but it is a rare occasion when the U.S. Supreme Court's most liberal justice speaks to lawyers from the most conservative state in the nation.

And it was a moment to applaud, as more than 1,000 attorneys and their families gave a standing ovation to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at a convention of the Utah Bar Association. State Bar president Robert Rice said many lawyers brought their daughters to the event.

"They see her as a role model of not only what young women may be in the legal profession but what lawyers should be and what judges should be," he said.

Gender Bias

For a state known historically for conservative politics and polygamy, it was more refreshing than ironic as Ginsburg talked about her views on gender bias. She also quipped about the challenges of being a woman on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg, famously known in biography as the "Notorious RBG," said a recent study found that male justices interrupt female justices three times more often than their male counterparts.

"I hadn't even been conscious of that, and neither were my male colleagues," Ginsburg said. "But I think next term, it may be different."

Ginsburg, 84, has served on the High Court since 1993, when President Clinton nominated her. Her life as a champion for women's rights will be featured in a movie, On the Basis of Sex.

Life Counsel

Ginsburg also talked about life outside the law, including her 56-year marriage. She offered some marital advice: "Every now and then, it helps to be a little deaf."

She also gave the lawyers professional advice. She urged them to do something more than practice law for money.

"Do something outside of yourself -- something that will make a difference," she said.

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