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Legacy of hope: O'Connor continues inspiring people in law field

Legacy of hope: O'Connor continues inspiring people in law field
Posted at 9:07 PM, Jun 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-06 15:01:13-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Sandra Day O'Connor continues inspiring many, including law students and professors at the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Tessa Dysart is a professor at the UArizona James E. Rogers College of Law. She says O’Connor’s perseverance inspires her, and other people in the law field, every day.

“As a woman and as a lawyer, she was certainly a trailblazer for women in the field. She graduated third in her class at Stanford and then struggled to get a job,” she told KGUN9.

“I can only imagine how much strength and determination it took to continue to move forward despite the.. You know… the constant no. The constant doors closed in your face for no reason other than gender,” added Professor Salmon, with the UArizona James E. College of Law.

Professor Susie Salmon remembers when President Reagan nominated Justice O’Connor into the Supreme Court, making her the first female associate Justice.

When she decided to pursue law, she quickly realized it was a male-dominated field.

“It’s challenging for, I would say, non-males. So women and non-binary people..to see a place for themselves in the law...it has definitely improved thanks in large part to women like Justice O’Connor,” Professor Salmon told KGUN9.

Something Rachel Romaniuk, who’s going into her last year at the UArizona Jame E. Rogers College of Law, agrees with.

“I had no lawyers in my family so people like you know, Sandra Day O’Connor providing that start to more civics education, more legal education, really paid off for me,” she said.

To this day, O’Connor continues inspiring Romaniuk, who aspires to be a public defender.

“Coming from the Arizona courts to the court of appeals is crazy. Unprecedented. Especially as a woman being confirmed unanimously, by the Senate,” said Romaniuk.

“The legacy that she will leave is one of hope,” added Dysart.

“Justice O’Connor is one of those people that would want anyone who believes that they care about the law to come into this field,” Romaniuk told KGUN9.

“Thank you for blazing that trail and making it easier for the rest of us,” said Salmon.