May 01, 2019

On April 30, 2019, 75 law students from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law visited the Supreme Court of the United States to meet with Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. The event was organized through the efforts of Kristin Mitcham (3L), Professor Sarah Duggin, and the CUA Law Women's Law Caucus.

(Kristin Mitcham addresses the group prior to Justice Ginsberg's arrival.)

The students were seated in the East Conference room and awaited Justice Ginsberg. Upon arriving, Justice Ginsberg took to the podium and welcomed the students to the Court. She opened her talk with a piece of court history revolving around Chief Justice Morrison Waite and Belva Lockwood's journey to become the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court bar. Justice Ginsberg then opened the floor to questions from the students.

Student Reactions:

"The highlight of my experience with Justice Ginsburg was not her celebrity, not the awe of interacting with a sitting Supreme Court Justice; but rather the opportunity to listen to her speak to us as someone truly invested in the education of law students. In the brief time we spent with her, she taught. As she answered our questions, she provided history lessons, made cases we have studied in class come to life, shined a light on unsung heroes, and empowered us to continue the fight for women's rights by tackling "unconscious bias and work/family life balance". I have had many remarkable experiences at CUA Law, but those 30 minutes will remain with me forever." (Vania Smith, 3E)

"It was an incredible experience to be in the same room as such an iconic woman and role model who is responsible for so much social change during her legal career surrounding so many important societal issues like gender equality and other human rights. She had so much wisdom to share with us including her advice to having a successful and fulfilling career in the law: be "patient, persistent" and always have "good humor." It was an honor and a blessing to listen to and interact with Justice Ginsburg in such an intimate setting." (Casey Wiggin, 2L)

"Although I am a native Washingtonian, who is all too familiar with the beauty of DC, attending CUA Law has allowed me to access opportunities to explore the nation's capital beyond my prior experiences. In a reflection of my first year at Catholic, I am grateful thatI had the opportunity to attend a Supreme Court of the United States' court hearing and meet two Supreme Court justices. Most notably, meeting Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who called me out the crowd to engage in dialogue, was a moment I'll cherish forever. From that opportunity, I was able to ask Justice Ginsburg where she pulled her motivation to continue fighting for equality in a field that is predominantly occupied by men. She told me that her motivation came from the women who fought before her and the ones that will fight in the future. I'll forever cherish the dedicated professors of CUA Law for providing me with that rare opportunity to obtain advice that I'll use to motivate me and other women throughout my career. " (Brenda Keels, 1L)

"There is no better way to kick off finals than getting to hear Justice Ginsburg speak at the Supreme Court. I am so grateful to be a part of the Women's Law Caucus and for the opportunity to meet with Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg shared advice that her mother gave to her: be a lady and be independent. This has certainly been a highlight of my law school experience and has given me new motivation going into my exams."
(Aimee Solano, 1L)

"It was amazing to be in the same room as a woman who has inspired so many generations of female lawyers. Justice Ginsburg told us that some of the keys to success are "Patience, Persistence and a bit of good humor." I'm very grateful to CUA and Women's Law Caucus for making this dream into a reality because I really think that for a lot of us it was inspiring and humbling to have the opportunity to speak with her." (April Currey, 2L)