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! 

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  • September 13, 2013 10:43 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    Clinic: Thursday September 26th at 5:30pm.

    Sophia’s Heart Legal Clinic, founded by the Belmont College of Law Legal Aid Society, offers free legal advice to Sophia’s Heart residents. Sophia's Heart provides a transitional shelter for families in crisis and helps them get back on their feet, secure housing, and resolve personal, financial, and employment impediments. The purpose of the clinic is to assist families with resolving various civil and criminal issues. All attorneys will be paired with a family to assist in resolving legal questions or concerns they may have. Clinics will be held quarterly. Volunteer attorneys will be asked to take on at least one case per year. Criminal, family law, property law, and bankruptcy law attorney’s are especially needed.

    All participants should plan on attending the orientation session at 5:30pm on September 26th at Sophia’s Heart, 1034 Eastland Avenue. The clinic will take place at 6pm following orientation.

    Any interested attorneys should RSVP to Katie Blankenship, Director of Belmont College of Law's Legal Society, at 615.796.9027 or, or contact Kimberlee McTorry at

    For more information about Sophia’s Heart visit
  • September 12, 2013 12:28 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    2013 Inductee Luncheon ~ October 28, 2013

  • September 12, 2013 11:00 AM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    NASHVILLE (AP) – The nation's largest caucus of Republican state leaders plans to spend $6 million to recruit 300 women to run for office in the next election cycle, women GOP leaders said Tuesday.

    The announcement was made at a news conference near the state Capitol following a two-day leadership summit of Republican women from around the country.

    Last year, the Republican State Leadership Committee identified 185 new female Republican candidates from 36 states, and 84 of them were elected to state offices. The caucus is hoping to get at least 150 elected next year.

    "The whole point of this ... is to find qualified women who would like to be asked and would like to have the support of an organization like this," said Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville.

    Republicans hold a supermajority in the Tennessee General Assembly. Out of the state's 132 legislators, there are four Republican women in the Senate and eight in the House.

    Republican National Committee co-chair Sharon Day was among those who attended the summit. She said the funds raised by the RSLC will be used to help female candidates in areas that range from any political training they may need to fundraising.

    "We're there as a support mechanism to make sure that they cross the finish line," said Day, adding that she hopes women will also seek other elected positions, such as city councils and school boards.

    "It's not just ... statewide elected or federal positions, it's women all across the board, because there are wonderful opportunities for women in all walks of life," she said.

    Following the news conference, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Mike Turner issued a statement supporting the Republican effort to recruit more women in particular into politics.

    "Democrats believe that this state will be stronger if more women have a seat and voice at the governing table," said Turner, D-Nashville.

    He noted an effort by Democrats to form a political action committee that will advocate for women's and children's issues in the state, as well as support female Democratic candidates.

    "Our caucus, along with other Democratic groups, will be focused on recruiting and supporting women who can speak to the issues working families across this state care about," Turner said.

    State Democratic Rep. Brenda Gilmore of Nashville said most women are naturally more concerned about issues related to children and family, which is why she supports more females in politics – regardless of their party affiliation.

    "Historically, when women are in elected positions, more attention and resources get channeled to children and family issues than when men are elected in those positions," she said.
  • September 09, 2013 3:36 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    2nd Annual TSCPA Women’s Career Summit coming up on Tuesday, Sept. 24th, and the program was recently approved for CLE credit. TSCPA has marketed this program to TSCPA members but have also opened up to other professional women across the state. With over 100 women registered to attend, we are sharing with TLAW members. Click here to view the brochure of the full-day program.

    Keynote Speaker Judge Janice Holder

    The conference will be held in Jamison Hall at The Factory at Franklin.

    Event information and registration  Women'sBrochure .pdf

  • August 03, 2013 10:33 PM | Amy Everhart
    We are pleased to welcome you to TLAW's new website. From here TLAW members can register as members, pay dues, and learn about and register for events. You can also keep apprised of TLAW news and participate in discussions on the TLAW forum.  We welcome you to submit news and events from your local organization as well as personal updates you wish to share with the membership. 

    The "Our History" page takes a look back at the founding of the organization. We hope to continue to build this page and, toward that effort, welcome your contributions and photos. 

    We will continue to build the existing pages and launch others as the website evolves. We welcome your ideas and suggestions for making the website an active hub of communication for this statewide organization. 

    In addition to the TLAW website, you can find us on Facebook at, Twitter at @TNLawWomen, and LinkedIn in the group Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women.

  • July 30, 2013 12:24 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    Study after study has shown that women - in particular those in law firm practice - are not compensated at the same level as men. In August 2012, ABA President Laurel G. Bellows appointed a blue-ribbon Task Force on Gender Equity with a call to action for concrete movement in the issues of equity in the workplace and a principal focus on compensation.

    You can help raise awareness of these critical issues by joining the "Click Your Heels" virtual march for gender equity.

    Participating is as simple as clicking your heels three times:

    1. The link to the website at,
    2. The vote button to the right of the red shoes, and
    3. The click button.

    Congratulations! You now have "clicked" your heels for gender equity.

    Why is this important -- and what is the point? The visuals of hundreds of thousands of people descending on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and the sea of people coming together for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 have become iconic representations of people standing in concert to effect change. While nothing can ever replace the historic transcendence of that day, in this new millennium a virtual voice carries the same power and ability to effect change as a physical presence.

    As in 1963, people of today still struggle with the ability to be treated equally in the work place. What is gender equity? It is equal pay for equal work. It is paternity leave without stigma. It is flexible time to meet personal and family needs, while still being able to participate and make a productive contribution to the work place. It is the recognition of the differences between men and women without diminishing the value and contribution each person provides. In a word, it is "fairness."

    March with us through the ABA's Day of the Woman on August 10, 2013. For information on Day of the Woman events, visit

    Click your heels for gender equity .. and spread the word! You can learn more about the Task Force on Gender Equity and download its publications at no cost at
  • June 19, 2013 12:15 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)
    The Tennessee Lawyers' Association for Women held its annual meeting on Friday, June 14, in Nashville. The meeting was attended by a number of lawyers and several jurists, including Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Janice Holder and U. S. District Judge Aleta Trauger. Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary L. Wade, who also attended the meeting, administered the oath to swear in the organization's new officers and directors.

    TLAW's 2013-2014 officers are Wendy Longmire, President, Cheryl Rice, Vice-President, Linda Knight, Treasurer, Ahsaki Baptist, Recording Secretary, Beth Bates, Corresponding Secretary, Kristi Rezabek, Immediate Past President, Lanis Karnes, West TN Director, Amy Everhart, Middle TN Director, and Judy Cornett, East TN Director.

    TLAW is Tennessee's statewide women's bar organization. It strives to advance the success of women attorneys and to improve the status of women in our society.

  • June 17, 2013 1:34 PM | Karol Lahrman - Executive Director of TLAW (Administrator)

    President Wendy Longmire, Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Gary L. Wade, Kristi Rezabek, Immediate Past President.

    Judge Aleta Trauger, Linda Knight, Linda Warren Seely, Kristi Rezabek, and Jackie Dixon

    Imm. Past President: Kristi Rezabek, Executive Director: Karol Lahrman, President: Wendy Longmire

    Treasurer: Linda Knight

    Annual Breakfast meeting room

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