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Ruth Bader Ginsburg – an appreciation

I was immensely saddened to hear the news of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing at the weekend.

Her dedication to justice and equality was unflappable throughout her career. She will be remembered for her passion, her tenacity and her courage to stand up and fight for what is right. The fact that she remained as a Justice to the end, despite her illness, is testament to that.

She is renowned for her wisdom, but one of her quotes really resonated with me and the ethos of Balfour+Manson: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”As one of the only females in her class at Harvard Law School, Ruth paved the way for women in law, showing them that gender shouldn’t be an obstacle. That was despite hurdles being put in her way. I’m sure I am not the only female who viewed her as a real inspiration throughout my career.

As the first female chair of Balfour+Manson, I am proud to say that Ruth’s wishes are certainly being implemented at our firm. To our knowledge, we are the only Scottish law firm of our size with a female majority partnership, something that would have been a source of great pride to Ethel Houston, the first female partner of any law firm in Scotland, assumed partner at Balfour+Manson back in 1949.

At Balfour+Manson we reward and promote based on talent and ability to do the job at hand. This is regardless of age, gender, social background.Here in Scotland, we are certainly experiencing a positive shift towards equality in our profession with more and more females pursuing a career in law. I believe and hope that over time, we will start to see this trickle into even more females in leadership positions. This is testament to the legacy of people like Ruth, who fought for this. Her attitude can again be shown in another of her quotes:

“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to the very best of her ability.”She may have been practising across the pond, but Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s legacy will be remembered globally.

May she rest in power.

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