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Heels of Justice

Mar 11, 2019

Welcome to Heels of Justice; these are the stories of women lawyers who are trailblazers in their field and paved the way for the rest of us.

Today, the Heels of Justice interview Dahlia Lithwick bio to come by the client.


Key Takeaways

[:34] Katherine welcomes Dahlia Lithwick a writer and law journalist, to the Heels of Justice podcast.

[1:24] Katherine asks Dahlia when, how and why she became interested in the law.

[4:17] Did Dahlia end up following her interest in children’s advocacy policy through law school? And what happened after law school?

[5:44] Dahlia shares that she quit law school after her first year and why she went back.

[8:00] What does clerking “on and off” mean?

[9:48] On the sometimes jargony nature of legal writing, and the necessary humility in writing about the law for lay audience.

[15:12] “Read the briefs, translate the briefs, and write about what happened to the law.” There is no need for an ego.

[15:45] Is there something about women that makes more inclined to egoless work?

[21:19] The powerful effect of women role-modeling, and creating the ‘giants’ on whose shoulders future generations can stand.

[23:31] Katherine asks what has surprised Dahlia about the Supreme Court, or rather what might surprise us?

[26:09] On the real humans behind the memes and subordinating ego.

[32:00] Dahlia’s thoughts on the inner strengths that bring women into law in the face of celebrity culture and anger.

[34:50] The rewards of diligence, accuracy, and passionate commitment to truth.

[37:10] Katherine asks how Dahlia reconciles the idea that women are currently being the RBG of tomorrow and the stereotypical narratives about women being too mean or too aggressive.

[38:40] Is three the magic number?

[41:30] Katherine asks Dahlia if there ever was a moment when she advocated for herself.

[46:00] A moment of failure for Dahlia and the path she took to recover.

[49:25] A guy would do it, and your value is not your job!

[53:07] Katherine asks if Dahlia would have any advice for her law school self.

[57:49] Katherine thanks Dahlia for participating on the Heels of Justice podcast, and she signs off until next time.


That’s it for this episode of Heels of Justice, if you like the stories we’re telling, please visit our website. You can join our mailing list, learn more about our guests and see what we have planned for the future.


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Disclaimer: The opinions you have heard are ours or our guest’s alone. They’re not the opinions of our employers, or our clients, or our bosses, and not our husbands, kids or pets or anyone else’s.


Mentioned in this episode (chronological order)


Stanford Law School

Michael Wald

Children’s Defense Fund

Procter Ralph Hug Jr.

Nina Totenberg

Joan Biscupik

Jan Crawford

Marcia Coyle

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Stephen Breyer

Sandra Day O'Connor

Sonia Sotomayor

Lindsey Graham

Elena Kagan

Patty Hearst syndrome

John Roberts

Ruth Bader Ginsburg movie

Oprah Winfrey

Michelle Obama

Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger, by Rebecca Traister

Dr. Christine Blasey Hearing

Brett Kavanaugh hearing

Anita Hill

Pamela Harris

Amy Klobuchar

Mazie Hirono

Sanctuary city cases

Travel Ban strike down

Abortion Policy on teen migrants


Hillary Clinton

Microsoft trial


More about the Heels of Justice, Sarita Venkat, and Katherine Minarik

Heels of Justice on the Web

Heels of Justice on Twitter

Heels of Justice on Instagram

Heels of Justice on Facebook


Sarita Venkat on LinkedIn

Katherine Minarik on LinkedIn

Katherine Minarik on Twitter

Katherine Minarik at cleverbridge


Dahlia ’s personal stories (edited)

“When I was 12 years old, my mother gave me a clothing allowance and said ‘this is the amount of money you’re allowed to spend on clothes and when it’s gone, it’s gone so be prudent,’ and I hectored her for the entire year, like relentlessly; morning, noon and night, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I just went at, her trying to re-litigate the amount.”


“The answer is to just have so many damn women at such high levels of achievement that you can’t say ooh, look at that weird girl anymore … It’s such a long haul answer to give you, and I think it’s going to require women also speaking out, writing the op-eds, pushing back and just being willing to say ‘not every time a woman speaks is she shrill, not every time a woman advocates for herself is she a bitch.’ Doing what I’ve sort of described as this massive team sport. Ruth Bader Ginsburg can be the coach, but we all have to be the players.”


More about Dahlia Lithwick

Dahlia Lithwick on Slate

More to come by clients