Students reflect on the impact of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The recent passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (RBG) inspired Caitlyn Dempsey ’22 and Lafayette’s Women in Law society to organize a discussion “The Life and Legacy of the Notorious RBG,” which was held Thursday, October 1. The virtual event was mediated by Dempsey and Megan Deacon ’21, and featured student panelists Jules Bernstein ’22, Rachel Cox ’21, Thalia Charles ’22, and Kelsey Moum ’21. We asked what RBG’s legacy means to them. Here is what they shared.
“I reached out to Professor [Helena] Silverstein on the night RBG died because I was distraught and terrified. I wanted to know what I could do to honor the woman who encouraged me to pursue a career in law, who demanded justice, and who made me feel safer while she sat on the courts. I could not be prouder to work on this panel with women that I personally look up to at my own school, and I hope to continue to work for the ideals that RBG stood for.” —Caitlyn Dempsey ’22, government and law and geology
“For me, RBG’s legacy means that there is no excuse to stop fighting for our rights. She was an exceptional woman who fought for the rights of women throughout America, right up until her last moments. As the president of the Women in Law Society, I am so grateful to have such an amazing icon to look up to. As women who wish to pursue careers in law, RBG is the ultimate role model, and I hope to continually shape our society’s values around her work and what she stood for.” —Megan Deacon ’21, history
“Having the opportunity to serve on this panel about this incredible woman means a lot to me. To me, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy is demonstrating that the law can be used as a tool for progress and social justice.” —Lia Charles ’22, government & law and psychology
“While I still have much to learn about the scope and magnitude of Justice Ginsburg’s influence on our country’s culture overall, and specifically the autonomy of American women in our society, she has long been a hero of mine. Her dedication and vision in using the law to promote equality is one of the main motivations for my interest in legal advocacy.” —Kelsey Moum ’21, government and law and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies
“Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been one of the most inspirational women in my life, so I hope I can help honor her legacy by participating in this panel. I hope that we can remember what she accomplished in her career because we are the next generation of judges, lawyers, politicians, etc. and we have the responsibility to ensure her work is not forgotten.” —Jules Bernstein ’22, government and law and history
“To me, RBG is a symbol of female empowerment. She leaves a legacy of power and strength, and her feisty presence on the court is one that is unforgettable. As a renowned legal scholar and trailblazing justice, RBG has inspired me to pursue a legal career following my time at Lafayette. RBG used her own experiences of gender-based discrimination as motivation to successfully advocate for women’s rights, and I am extremely thankful for her dedication to advancing gender equality.” —Rachel Cox ‘21, government & law and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies