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Reviewed by Patricia Fors for Readers' Favorite
In Raising The Bar: A Lawyer’s Memoir, author Ruth Rymer recounts her childhood dreams of becoming a lawyer. Only later in life, when she finds herself fully embedded in the legal system, does she recognize the prejudice women experience. Day after day the author would observe women fighting for their lives, safety, sanity, and status. Rymer hooked me from the very first page where, before the storytelling even started, she explained her name and what different people called her based on a variety of reasons - it’s all about perspective.
Raising The Bar: A Lawyer’s Memoir offers an insider peek at the legal world while showcasing the parallels to life, love, and relationships. At its core, this is a story of being a human and standing up for what is right. I was struck by the uplifting lilt in Ruth Rymer’s style which comes across clearly in each and every section of the book. No matter the topic, complex or light-hearted, the author showcases a constant desire to persevere. I especially liked how Rymer made the ‘art of practicing law’ easy to understand. This made me consider all the other angles that come into consideration with each case, and how lawyers must constantly pivot and oftentimes reflect on their own life decisions as well as the decisions on behalf of their clients.
The highlighting of The Family Law Act helped me consider and observe different societal issues and the perception different generations have where prejudice resides. It further showcased for me those big moments as life-changing moments and I found myself considering ‘what if ’ when it comes to the WHO not the HOW of the law in our world. By the end, I found myself observing differently. I am now acutely aware that there are people at the other end of every decision. After all, a lawyer is first and foremost a human being. I would highly recommend this book.