Justice Ginsburg’s Impact on Gender Parity in the Practice of Law

The Center for Women in Law hosted a virtual panel discussion on the legacy of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on February 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm CT.

David Lat, Managing Director, Lateral Link, and Founding Editor, Above the Law moderated a panel of Justice Ginsburg’s former law clerks.  The panel addressed  Justice Ginsburg’s vision of equality, and how that vision, once groundbreaking, is now accepted in multiple facets of law and society.  In addition, the former clerks discussed how Justice Ginsburg’s mentorship shaped their personal and professional choices, and the ramifications of her leadership on gender parity in the practice of law.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her husband, Marty Ginsburg, modeled a true partnership in pursuit of gender equity. Their commitment to equal justice pervaded their personal and professional lives and will have a lasting impact on the legal profession and our society.  To honor their legacy, the Center for Women in Law is proud to announce the Ginsburg Initiative, to advance gender-neutral initiatives that support systemic change, such as best practices surrounding work assignments, performance expectations, parental leave, and transparency in career development.  We invite supporters and allies who share our vision for a legal profession that exemplifies equity and justice for all to join the Ginsburg Circle to support this initiative. Learn more about the Ginsburg Initiative.

This course can be claimed as 1.25 hour of self-study CLE credit with the State Bar of Texas. Self-study is optional and 3 of your total 15 hours can be completed in the form of self-study activities. Contact your State Bar with any questions.  Suggested pre-reading.

Below is the link to the video of the February 2nd webinar:

Justice Ginsburg’s Impact on Gender Parity in the Practice of Law

This event is generously sponsored by Lateral Link.

David Lat, Managing Director, Lateral Link, and Founding Editor, Above the Law~Moderator

David Lat is a lawyer turned legal journalist and recruiter, a managing director in the New York office of Lateral Link, a nationwide legal search firm. Before joining Lateral Link, he founded Above the Law, one of the nation’s most widely read legal news websites, and he now writes a newsletter on Substack about law and legal affairs, Original Jurisdiction. His writing has also appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal, among other publications. In 2014, he published a novel set in the world of the federal courts, Supreme Ambitions.

Before entering the media and recruiting worlds, David worked as a federal prosecutor in Newark, New Jersey; a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, in New York; and a law clerk to Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. David graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School, where he served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Nina Totenberg, Legal Affairs Correspondent, NPR

photo by Allison Shelley/NPR

Nina Totenberg is NPR’s award-winning legal affairs correspondent. Her reports air regularly on NPR’s critically acclaimed newsmagazines All Things ConsideredMorning Edition, and Weekend Edition.

Totenberg’s coverage of the Supreme Court and legal affairs has won her widespread recognition.  In 1991, her ground-breaking report about University of Oklahoma Law Professor Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment by Judge Clarence Thomas led the Senate Judiciary Committee to re-open Thomas’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings to consider Hill’s charges.  NPR received the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award for its coverage anchored by Totenberg.  That same coverage earned Totenberg many additional awards.

Totenberg also was named Broadcaster of the Year and honored with the 1998 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcasting from the National Press Foundation. She is also the recipient of the American Judicature Society’s first-ever award honoring a career body of work in the field of journalism and the law. In 1988, Totenberg won the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton for her coverage of Supreme Court nominations. Totenberg has been honored seven times by the American Bar Association for continued excellence in legal reporting and has received more than two dozen honorary degrees.

Ryan Park, Solicitor General, North Carolina

Ryan Park is Solicitor General of North Carolina.  He has previously practiced at a national law firm, worked as an attorney-adviser at the U.S. Department of State, and clerked for Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter, Judge Robert A. Katzmann on the Second Circuit and Judge Jed S. Rakoff on the Southern District of New York.  He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Amherst College, and has worked in South Korea on a Fulbright Fellowship. 

Alexandra A.E. Shapiro, Partner, Shapiro Arato Bach

Alexandra Shapiro represents individuals and institutions in appeals, criminal and regulatory matters, and complex civil litigation. Alexandra is an experienced trial lawyer and has argued numerous appeals in federal and state appellate courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States.  She regularly argues in the Second Circuit and handles matters involving a broad range of subjects, including securities law, public corruption, tax fraud, constitutional law, federal election law, intellectual property, and the defense of lawyers and law firms.

Alexandra has won appellate reversals of criminal convictions in a number of notable white collar prosecutions.  These victories include three Second Circuit rulings granting judgments of acquittal  as well as multiple decisions granting new trials.

A particular focus of Alexandra’s practice has been the defense of criminal insider trading cases. Alexandra argued Salman v. United States, the first insider trading case heard by the Supreme Court in 20 years.  Alexandra also successfully challenged the government’s legal theories in several insider trading cases in which the charges were dismissed by the district court or reversed on appeal, and currently represents defendants in several high-profile insider trading appeals.

Alexandra has also conducted internal investigations on behalf of corporations, corporate boards, and Audit Committees and has assisted clients in developing and implementing regulatory compliance programs.  She served as President of the New York Council of Defense Lawyers, a not-for-profit professional association of over 250 experienced lawyers whose principal area of practice is the defense of criminal cases, particularly in the federal courts in New York.

Prior to co-founding Shapiro Arato Bach LLP in 2009, Alexandra was a partner of Latham & Watkins LLP, and before that, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where she also served as Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney. In addition, she served as an attorney-adviser in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Amanda L. Tyler, Shannon Cecil Turner Professor of Law, University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Amanda L. Tyler is the Shannon Cecil Turn Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, where she teaches and writes about the Supreme Court, the federal courts, constitutional law, legal history, and civil procedure.  Professor Tyler previously served on the faculty of the George Washington University Law School and has been a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, New York University School of Law, and the University of Virginia School of Law.  In 2017, she was a Visiting Senior Fellow in the Law Department of the London School of Economics.  She holds a degree in Public Policy, with honors and distinction, from Stanford University, and a J.D., magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

Tyler is the author of three books, including Justice, Justice Thou Shalt Pursue: A Life’s Work Fighting for a More Perfect Union, with the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg (University of California Press, forthcoming 2021), and Habeas Corpus in Wartime: From the Tower of London to Guantanamo Bay (Oxford University Press 2017) (paperback 2019).  In addition to authoring numerous articles, book chapters, and other publications, she has served since 2016 as a co-editor of Hart and Wechsler’s The Federal Courts and the Federal System (Foundation Press).  Tyler is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a past Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor, and a past Chair of the Federal Courts Section of the American Association of Law Schools.  At Berkeley Law, Tyler has won the Rutter Award for Teaching Distinction and been chosen by her students to deliver the faculty address at graduation.

Prior to entering academia, Tyler served as a law clerk to the Honorable Guido Calabresi at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the Supreme Court of the United States.  She also practiced with the law firm of Sidley & Austin in Washington, D.C.

The Honorable Paul J. Watford, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Paul Watford serves as a Circuit Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, with chambers in Pasadena, California.  He was nominated by President Obama on October 17, 2011, and confirmed by the Senate on May 21, 2012.

Judge Watford received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989 and his law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1994.  From 1994-1995, Judge Watford served as a law clerk to Judge Alex Kozinski of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and from 1995-1996 he served as a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.  From 1997 to 2000, Judge Watford served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in Los Angeles, and from 2001 until his appointment to the bench, Judge Watford was in private practice at Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP in Los Angeles, where his practice focused primarily on appellate litigation.

Event series: Ginsburg Initiative