How Golf Helped Lead Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the Law

November 16, 2015

The reason that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ultimately wound up behind the bench might surprise you.

According to a recent interview she gave to Philip Galanes of the New York Times, Ginsburg says that golf had a hand in steering her toward law school.

When she arrived at Cornell University and met her future husband, Martin Ginsburg, the justice-to-be wasn’t yet set on a law career. She and Martin wanted to pursue careers in the same field. They first considered medicine, but because Martin was on Cornell’s golf team and practiced in the afternoons, the late chemistry labs necessary for a pre-med degree wouldn’t fit into his schedule. Business was out because Martin had his sights set on graduate school at Harvard, and Harvard’s business school didn’t accept women at the time. So Ruth decided to study government instead and to head to law school at Harvard after graduation.

The rest is U.S. history.

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