TLAW Mourns the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

We are sharing NAWL - National Association of Women Lawyers 

Tribute to Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lived the mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers: the advancement of women in the legal profession and advocacy for the equality of women under the law.  She was one of us, and she was an inspiration to us.  In that spirit, in 2002, we honored Justice Ginsburg with NAWL’s highest honor, the Arabella Babb Mansfield award.  In 2019, NAWL celebrated the work of the ACLU Women’s Rights Project, which Justice Ginsburg co-founded in 1972, granting the Mansfield award to an organization for the first time.

Ginsburg became a lawyer at a time when the legal profession was not welcoming to women.  She began her legal education at Harvard Law School in 1956, where she learned to navigate life as one of only nine women students in a class of more than 500, the only mother in the group.  She and her women counterparts were famously asked by Dean Griswold to explain why each had enrolled at the law school, taking the place of a man.  Undeterred by the male-dominated, hostile environment, she excelled academically and became the first woman member of the Harvard Law Review. 

Ginsburg’s husband of 56 years and partner in life, Martin Ginsburg, supported her as an equal in intellect, and ambition.  He was an ally, long before we had a term for it, who led by example.  After Marty was treated for testicular cancer during his third year at Harvard Law School, Justice Ginsburg requested to spend her third year of law school in New York, in order to relocate with her family.  When Harvard denied her request, she transferred to Columbia Law School, and graduated first in her class in 1959 as a member of the Columbia Law Review.

After struggling to secure legal employment as a woman, a Jew, and a mother, Justice Ginsburg clerked for U.S. District Judge Edmund L. Palmieri.  She went on to teach at Rutgers University Law School and Columbia Law School, at the latter becoming the school's first woman tenured professor.  In 1972, she co-founded the American Civil Liberties Union Women's Rights Project (“WRP”).  During the 1970s, as the WRP’s first Director, she argued six landmark cases on gender equality before the U.S. Supreme Court, helping establish the legal groundwork for prohibitions against sex discrimination. 

Notably, in Reed v. Reed, 404 U.S. 71 (1971), the Supreme Court extended the protections of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to women.  Ginsburg also supported the challenge to an Oklahoma statute that set different minimum drinking ages for men and women in Craig v. Boren, 429 U.S. 190 (1976), filing an amicus brief and sitting at counsel table in this landmark litigation that established an “intermediate scrutiny” standard for gender discrimination.  Recognizing that gender equality is in all of our interests, in Weinberger v. Wiesenfeld, 420 U.S. 636 (1975), she represented a widower denied survivor benefits under Social Security, which permitted widows but not widowers to collect special benefits while caring for minor children - and won.

In 1978, her last case as an attorney before the Supreme Court was Duren v. Missouri, 439 U.S. 357 (1979), which challenged the validity of voluntary jury duty for women, on the ground that participation in jury duty was a citizen's vital governmental service and therefore should not be optional for women. At the end of Ginsburg's oral argument, then-Associate Justice William Rehnquist asked Ginsburg, "You won't settle for putting Susan B. Anthony on the new dollar, then?"

Justice Ginsburg was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit in 1980.  In 1993, she was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton.  Confirmed by the Senate in a 96-3 vote, she became the second woman to serve on the nation’s highest court.  In 1996, writing for a 7-1 court, Justice Ginsburg wrote the majority opinion in United States v. Virginia, 518 U.S. 515 (1996), which struck down the Virginia Military Institute’s all-male admissions policy and opened the institution to women.  Holding that Virginia violated the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause because it failed to show "exceedingly persuasive justification" for VMI's gender-biased admissions policy, Ginsburg wrote "generalizations about 'the way women are,' estimates of what is appropriate for most women, no longer justify denying opportunity to women whose talent and capacity place them outside the average description."

Her colleague and friend, conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, praised Ginsburg's skills as an advocate: "she became the leading (and very successful) litigator on behalf of women's rights—the Thurgood Marshall of that cause, so to speak." An advocate for gender equality in practice, she was a consensus builder on the Court.  Legal scholar Cass Sunstein characterized her as a “rational minimalist,” who sought to build on precedent rather than pushing the Constitution towards her own vision. 

After Justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired in 2006, Justice Ginsburg remained as the only woman on the Supreme Court.  For the first time in her history on the Court, that year, she read multiple dissents from the bench – to demonstrate a more intense disagreement with the majority.  On the bench, Justice Ginsburg remained a staunch advocate for reproductive freedom and gender equality.  As the Court became increasingly hostile to women, and political machinations of anti-equality members of Congress more blatant, Justice Ginsburg resolved to remain on the Court as long as she was able.  News reports confirm that in her final days, Justice Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter (and an attorney), Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

Indeed, NAWL will not settle.  Political opportunists have wasted no time attempting to justify a swift nomination and floor vote on a replacement for Justice Ginsburg before the end of 2020, an act directly contrary to their own behavior and public statements in 2016, when Justice Scalia died more than 8 months before an election.  We will not countenance a different result, especially with early voting having commenced in a number of states and less than 50 days to go before an election that will be a referendum on justice, the rule of law, and the future of our democracy. This nomination shall wait until 2021, after the people have spoken.  Let the people vote, and the people shall decide.

We grieve the loss of Justice Ginsburg, to the profession, to women, and to this country.  According to Jewish tradition, a person who dies on Rosh Hashanah, which began last night, is a tzaddik - a person of great righteousness. The Hebrew root of tzaddik is "tzedek (צדק)" which means - "justice."  May her memory be a blessing, to us all.

Please see the notice cancelling Judge Wyrick’s Investiture Ceremony due to the ongoing pandemic

Marion Griffin Women's Symposium

When: Friday, September 20, 2019 8:00 AM, CDT
Where: Belmont University College of Law, Randall and Sadie Baskin Center, 1901 15th Avenue South, Nashville, TN 37212



Keynote Speaker 

Chief Justice Cheri L. Beasley,

North Caroline Supreme Court

Alumnus of the University of Tennessee

College of Law

Registration Levels:

$250 Patron's Circle

This level entitles you to special recognition in the MGWS program, your photo taken with Keynote Speaker Justice Cheri Beasley and an invitation to a reception honoring Chief Justice Beasley at the home of Judge Marietta Shipley the evening of September 19th.

$100 Early Bird Member Ticket ($125 September 1st)

$125 Early Bird Nonmember Ticket ($150 September 1st)

$75 Government and Special Interest Attorneys (Member and Nonmember)

$50 Law Student

CLE Program Descriptions** and Schedule of the day and Registration click here

National Women's Equality Day! 

  • June 24, 2014 4:28 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)

    TLAW would like to thank our Annual Meeting Sponsors. (photo)





  • May 01, 2014 2:15 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    Join the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession and the Young Lawyers Division for the webinar, "Learning to Lead: What Really Works for Women in Law." For more information and to register, visit

    During this program, you'll learn about effective leadership techniques and how to apply those principles to women lawyers. This webinar is based upon the Commission's new book of the same name by Gindi Eckel Vincent, who will be participating in the webinar. The "Learning to Lead" book synthesizes the research and anecdotal evidence on leadership techniques that help women in all fields develop in all aspects of their careers and then condenses and focuses the information into digestible concepts that women lawyers can use. During this program, theories from the book are discussed, and panelists share practical tips and tricks for success.

    Program Faculty:
    * Lacy Durham; Tax Manager; Deloitte Tax, LLP; Dallas, TX
    * Carrie J. Hightman; Executive Vice President & Chief Legal Officer; NiSource Inc.; Merrillville, IN
    * Gindi Eckel Vincent; Counsel; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Houston, TX
    * Margaret K. Masunaga (Moderator); Deputy Corporation Counsel; County of Hawaii; Kealakekua, HI

    Thursday, May 8, 2014
    1:00 PM to 2:30 PM Eastern Time

    For more information and to register, visit

    ABA Member Tuition: $25
    General Public Tuition: $50

    Thank you - The Commission on Women in the Profession
  • March 17, 2014 11:41 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    In January the business world took notice of General Motor’s new CEO. Instead of hiring a resume with previous CEO’s experience, GM appointed lifer Mary Barra. Unique to most CEO stories, Barra started at GM as an intern and built her way up. But what fascinated me the most was three words in the Business Insider’s article about her. In describing Barra’s resume, writers Paul Lienert and Ben Klayman explained her mentors to be “virtually all men.”

    This shouldn’t be surprising to anyone. In a male dominated field, Barra was probably one of the few women in leadership. Despite the strong emphasis on the masculine influences in her career, those watching are struck by her leadership style. Critics describe her management style as collaborative and compassionate. Instead of dominating conversation, she listens before she makes decisions. Admirers call her kind. They find her leadership feminine.

    But, is leadership masculine or feminine? Society seems to see parts of human character to be ultimately feminine or masculine. Meekness is innately female while men are expected to be bold. Young women should choose their family’s welfare over their own while men are praised in their success despite their absence. And let’s be honest. If you’re a male with too many “feminine” qualities, you’re labeled soft and sensitive. If you’re a female with too many “masculine” qualities, you’re rude and unapproachable. As a woman who wants to remain compassionate and gentle in the legal profession, such stereotypes leave me frustrated. How can I be transparent in a field that challenges my character with gender expectation?

    What I do know is that clients are comforted by authenticity. In a profession viewed as manipulative and cunning, people are attracted to a place that makes them safe. Barra’s leadership style clearly creates such an environment. Whether its labeled feminine or not, it has a place in the law.

    As a law student who is just now struggling with that conviction, I do not know the answer. However, I know I want to be apart of the conversation with older female lawyers who have been there. And that’s how the legal profession will adapt. If we as women believe investing in the younger generationundefinedwhether it be our children, their high school friends, or younger female co-workersundefinedto give them that incite, a new generation will learn leadership in a radical way.

    By Amber Lovelady

  • December 08, 2013 10:27 PM | Amy Everhart
    For an upcoming series, Maria Shriver says:

    "Millions and millions of women today find themselves being told to break the glass ceiling and yet they feel that there is no foundation for them to stand on. It's hard to add another crack to the ceiling when you are standing on a cracked floor. We want to hear from you as to what would help you shore up your foundation."

    Read the article here.
  • November 25, 2013 9:30 PM | Amy Everhart
    May we suggest this interview with economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett on her findings that "sponsorship," "a type of strategic workplace partnership between those with potential and those with power," fosters more career gains than the classic mentorship.

  • November 06, 2013 9:32 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
                Wiseman Ashworth Best Law Firm Ranking 2014.pdf

    Wiseman Ashworth Law Group Named to “Best Law Firms”
    for Third Consecutive Year

    Nashville, TN – Wiseman Ashworth Law Group, PLC is included in the 2014 “Best Law Firms” in Nashville for the third year in a row, receiving first tier ranking for Medical Malpractice Law- Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation- Defendants.  The distinguished list of the top firms nationwide is released by U.S. News Media Group, U.S. News & World Report, in collaboration with Best Lawyers®.

    “We are honored to again be listed in Best Law Firms, particularly since this first tier ranking reflects client feedback in addition to information provided by other lawyers and law firms,” said Gail Vaughn Ashworth, founding member of Wiseman Ashworth Law Group. 

    The 2014 U.S. News - Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.  The 2014 rankings represent the highest number of participating firms and the highest number of client ballots on record.  To be listed as a “Best Law Firm,” a firm must have at least one attorney listed in Best Lawyers in America, which recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the U.S.; Wiseman Ashworth has two attorneys listed – Tom Wiseman and Gail Ashworth.  The 2014 “Best Law Firms” rankings are available at:  

    About Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC – Wiseman Ashworth Law Group PLC (WALG) was established in Nashville in 2010 by attorneys Thomas A. Wiseman III and Gail Vaughn Ashworth. The firm focuses on physician, hospital and nursing home malpractice defense, health care law, personal injury cases, products liability, insurance coverage, medical ethics and employment law in state, federal and administrative courts.  WALG has grown rapidly since its founding and the Nashville City Center office features a state of the art mediation center.  In 2011, the firm established an office in Memphis. Attorneys Gail Vaughn Ashworth, Howard Hayden, Minton Mayer, and John McCauley are Rule 31 listed civil mediators. For more information, visit

  • October 30, 2013 11:36 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    Haslam Names Commission for Judicial Appointments

    Governor Bill Haslam today named members to the Governor's Commission for Judicial Appointments, which will consider applications from those seeking to fill court vacancies. Attorneys among the group are S. Leo Arnold of Dyersburg; Bradford Box of Jackson; Alberto Gonzales of Nashville; Olen Haynes Sr. of Johnson City; Thomas Lawless of Nashville; Gilbert McCarter II of Murfreesboro; Jimmie Carpenter Miller of Kingsport; J. Bartlett Quinn of Chattanooga; Cheryl G. Rice of Knoxville; W. Scott Sims of Nashville; Michael Spitzer of Hohenwald; and Charles Tuggle and Amy P. Weirich of Memphis. Community members are Miles Burdine, president of the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Jesse Cannon with Western Mental Health Institute in Bolivar; David Golden with Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport; and victim advocate Verna Wyatt of Nashville. Haslam established the commission earlier this month to help guide his decisions in making judicial appointments.
  • October 09, 2013 12:58 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    The Early Bird Registration for the Economic Summit for Women ends October 11. You have just a few more days to go to to read more about the program this year and also to register for this outstanding program.

    This year's Economic Summit for Women program includes Sunday, October 27 and Monday, October 28. The registration fee allows you to attend either day or both days. Six extraordinary women will be inducted into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame at the Summit Luncheon, October 28. Several companies send their staff to this Summit as a professional development day.
  • October 04, 2013 11:18 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)

  • September 24, 2013 11:56 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    Attend an Entrepreneur Exchange series to get in the minds of real business owners and learn about their colossal failures...and explosive growth!
    For more details and to register CLICK HERE 
    Entrepreneur Exchange


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