Every now and then, it’s really important to look around corners and analyze things from a different angle. In an opinion piece I wrote the other day praising Ketanji Brown Jackson, I did what virtually all lawyers (and politicians, journalists and citizens today do. I emphasized her “credentials”: Harvard College (magna cum laude), Harvard Law School (cum laude and Law Review), clerkships for Federal judges and for Justice Breyer himself, District Court and U.S. Court of Appeals judgeships.
I didn’t mention her work with poor criminal defendants. I didn’t mention her debate team in high school. I didn’t emphasize any community work she may have done over the years to provide access to legal services for immigrants or the poor. I didn’t mention that she is balancing the responsibilities of being a wife, mother and daughter. I didn’t really mention her ability to bring people to her point of view and try to build coalitions. I talked above all about her stellar and impressive Ivy League education.