Why law school can be a good time to start a family

How expectant mothers and new parents find a balance between babies and books.

After graduating from Cornell University in 1954, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg followed her husband to Fort Mills, Okla. as he fulfilled his duty to the Army as an artillery captain. It would be two years before she enrolled in law school, during which time she would become pregnant and give birth to their firstborn child.

Writing for the New York Times, Ginsburg shared some advice she received from her father-in-law:

“Ruth, if you don’t want to start law school, you have a good reason to resist the undertaking. No one will think the less of you if you make that choice. But if you really want to study law, you will stop worrying and find a way to manage child and school.”

Ginsburg followed this advice and entered law school with a toddler in tow. At the time, raising a young child was considered a “grave impediment” to a legal career, Ginsberg wrote. Nevertheless, she was able to achieve a federal clerkship upon graduation and later became one of the nation’s greatest legal minds.

Ginsburg was a pioneer. Today hundreds of law students are also parents or expecting parents. Drawing strength from their responsibilities to their families and leaning on the support of law school accommodations, student parents are not only surviving, they are thriving.

Read more about how current law students are balancing family and school in the National Jurist Back to School 2017 issue.