The first of the Barbara Paul Robinson Series at the New York City Bar Association was held on Tuesday evening, October 25 and was beyond my wildest hopes for this event. I was thrilled that my Debevoise & Plimpton partner, John S. Kiernan, presided; he is the first partner in the firm to serve as President after I did now twenty years ago and the fourth partner from our firm ever to do so. This Series intends to profile leaders in the law sharing their personal stories in order to inspire others in the profession. The first in this Series was a marvelous conversation between Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, moderated by Charlie Rose. You can see them above flanked by John and me. There was a huge crowd in the Great Hall of the Association with an overflow group in another room watching live on large video screens. A close up of the podium was used for the full hour Charlie Rose show the next night is seen below.
My son, Torrance and his lawyer-wife, Laurel Watts joined us along with our long time family friend, Lisa Beattie Frelinghuysen, a former law clerk to Justice Ginsburg. Charlie and I are shown with Bret Parker, the City Bar Executive Director who made sure this evening was beautifully orchestrated and with a larger group including Torrance and Laurel.
The Justices were warm, lively, and wonderful, including personal anecdotes along with a discussion of some of the challenging legal issues facing the Court with insights into the role of the Court and the process by which the Justices interact to reach decisions. . The audience was completely engaged, laughing, clapping and hanging on every word. Best of all, many young people came and the final question came from a young African-American woman practicing corporate law with a young family who asked the Justices how they found their paths. Their answers were indeed inspiring and encouraging of her and to everyone there. You can view almost the entire conversation on the Charlie Rose Show broadcast the next night of October 26 online at https://charlierose.com/videos/29408.