The list is in…
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is revered for her legal acumen and wherewithal.
And yet she is underappreciated. That’s become clear over the last several years as we spoke with attorneys who have clerked for her, argued before her and in a myriad of ways been directly influenced by her ability to commandeer any situation while seeming to be of it.
Before the passing of her dear friend, Justice Antonin Scalia, she remarked that there would be enough women on the Supreme Court when there were nine. A couple things about that. One, let’s put partisanship aside and acknowledge that one of President Barack Obama’s enduring legacies will be a Supreme Court with one-third female justices, and that he filled his first two vacancies with female appointees. We hope future Presidents will follow his lead. And two, women have been 50 percent of law students for well past a decade. And yet only in the judiciary do we experience something approaching that level of parity.
So Viva Ginsburg! This year’s 500 reflects legal trends including the debate on immigration, the passing of Justice Scalia, the trials in Guantanamo, and, as always, the year’s biggest dealmakers, trial lawyers and public interest lawyers.
Our 500 also recognizes 165 remarkable women lawyers who are the best at what they do. Not the best – as women – at what they do, but the best. Period. Stop. New Paragraph.
Lawdragon never wanted to do a “best women” list, because we like level playing fields, knowing that real impact only comes when your quality surpasses that of everyone else, regardless of category.
So here’s to Justice Ginsburg and the 164 other remarkable women who have helped us achieve something of which we’re incredibly proud: One-third of this year’s 500 is women, on the merits. We suspect Justice Ginsburg wouldn’t have it any other way.