Lady Justice: Women of the Court

A podcast featuring three sitting women state Supreme Court justices discussing their experiences on their state‘s highest court. Featuring Justice Rhonda Wood of Arkansas, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack of Michigan, and Justice Beth Walker of West Virginia.

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Episode 11: Why State Constitutions Matter

7 days ago

In this Season 2 opener, we're once again celebrating Constitution Day! The justices discuss timely issues around state constitutions, like redistricting after the recent census. The women also discuss the most recent amendments to the constitutions in their states. Plus, what happens when states interpret the same general language in their constitutions differently? All that explained on this episode about why constitutions matter. 

Episode 10: Beyond Their Opinions

Thursday Jul 15, 2021

Being a state Supreme Court justice is about much more than writing opinions on important cases. Justices are also responsible for overseeing the court system in their state. Part of this usually involves finding a passion and trying to affect change where they think it’s needed, whether that’s working to help children in foster care, studying the reasons behind an ever-growing prison population, or trying to keep their colleagues safe when job stress and substance abuse seems to be affecting their ability to best serve the public. The women were recently invited to speak at the Arkansas Bar Association’s annual conference, where they discussed this and other topics, like technology in the court.  This is the last episode of Season 1. We'll return with Season 2 in September! 

Episode 09: Go Your Own Way

Tuesday Jun 15, 2021

In some countries, Supreme Courts write an opinion as a whole court. After all, the law is the law and there should be one unified interpretation of it, right? Well, that’s not how things operate in the Unites States. Court decisions recognize openly that the law is not always clear and certain.  A justice can write a dissent to explain why they think the majority got it wrong or a concurrence, meaning they agree with the Court’s decision but not necessarily the steps to getting there. The lady justices discuss the process, which is also known as writing separately. 

Episode 08: A Path To Well-Being and Civility

Thursday Apr 22, 2021

For years, lawyers have struggled with issues like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse at a rate higher than the general population. The women discuss how, historically, there’s been a hands-off approach by the profession to addressing these issues, but that this is changing in some big ways. We hear from a national expert, Bree Buchanan, who is leading a movement toward recognizing the many benefits of assisting lawyers, law students, and judges with mental health and substance abuse issues and the high cost of turning a blind eye. Plus, the justices share thoughts on promoting civility. Episode Resources: The Path To Lawyer Well-Being The Prevalence of Substance Use and Other Mental Health Concerns Among American Attorneys Stress and Resiliency in the U.S. Judiciary Where Are We on the Path to Law Student Well-Being?  

Episode 07: Legal Crusaders

Thursday Mar 25, 2021

In this episode, the justices examine the lives of women legal crusaders you may not have heard about. Also, the latest numbers are out about the state of women in law firms, which calls for a discussion examining why it might be that women go to law school at the same rate as men yet there remains a significant lack of women in law firm leadership.

Episode 06: Justice Personified

Monday Feb 22, 2021

On this episode, examining the female figure that has become the moral face of the court system: Lady Justice. We see statues of Lady Justice in courthouses across America - the scales, the blindfold, the sword. The women discuss what the imagery means to them personally after some reflection and scholarly reading.  We’ll also hear from Yale Law School professor and author Judith Resnik, who has spent years studying the history of Lady Justice and the various ways she is portrayed throughout the world. And, it’s a new year and that means new female faces on our nation’s state courts! We’ll introduce you to some of them.

Episode 05: May It Please The Court

Wednesday Jan 27, 2021

Most Supreme Court cases are decided based on written briefs submitted by attorneys. But sometimes the Court grants oral argument in a case and attorneys have the opportunity to speak directly to the justices in the courtroom. Justices generally know where they stand going in to oral argument. Can oral argument be so effective it changes the mind of a justice and the outcome of a case? The women take questions during a virtual event by the Texas Association of Civil Trial and Appellate Specialists. 

Episode 04: A Seat At The Table

Wednesday Dec 16, 2020

The women take questions during a virtual event by the Women’s Chapter of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Topics include women in leadership and balancing a high-demand career with the responsibilities of motherhood. Plus, holiday memories and good reads!

Episode 03: We're Going To Appeal This

Tuesday Nov 24, 2020

When a party loses in court, they have the right to appeal the ruling and ask a higher court, known as an appellate court, to review the case. But what happens next? The women provide a behind-the-scenes look at the process. 

Episode 02: How Did I Become A Supreme Court Justice?

Thursday Oct 22, 2020

The women justices discuss their individual journeys to the bench. 

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