Days before she died, Ruth Bader Ginsburg dictated a letter to granddaughter Clara Spera, telling her that she does not want to be replaced on the Supreme Court until a new U.S. president is installed. Spera is one of Ginsburg’s four grandchildren. She’s married to Rory Boyd.
Here’s what you need to know about Clara Spera:
1. Clara Spera’s Mother Is a Professor at Columbia Law School & Her Father Is a Lawyer
— Devlin Hartline (@devlinhartline) April 26, 2019
Clara Spera’s mother, Jane Carol Ginsburg, is married to George T. Spera. Jane Ginsburg is a professor at Columbia Law School, specializing in literary and artistic property law, and directs Columbia’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts.
She’s an expert on intellectual property law, copyright law, legal methods and trademark law. She’s fluent in French and Italian, according to her bio.
Clara Spera’s father, George Spera, was the compensation, governance, and ERISA counsel for Shearman and Sterling for 34 years, according to his bio on LinkedIn. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1980 and has a bachelor’s from Princeton.
In an interview with Harvard in 2003, Jane Ginsburg said she was lucky that Spera could spend time caring for their children when her job was too busy. But she said too many women wait to have children because they are fearful of discrimination at work.
2. Clara Spera Married Rory Boyd in March 2018
According to her wedding website, Clara Simone Spera and Rory James Joseph Boyd were married on March 10, 2018. Their website once shared that they had met at the University of Cambridge.
Boyd is an actor, according to his archived website and a resume shared by Spera on Scribd. The resume listed impressive credentials in regional theatre, including portraying Hamlet in Hamlet, Mordred in Camelot, and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, many media publications had high praise for Boyd’s numerous performances.
The Boston Globe described Boyd’s portrayal of Mordred as “played in a suitably treacherous vein by Rory Boyd.”
Boxing Over Broadway noted: “I have to say that Rory Boyd’s Mordred is truly amazing. His name alone cues us to expect an evil character, but Boyd manages to move him into more of a grey area. He certainly brings a great energy and just enough ambiguity to the role to make one possibly feel a bit of sympathy for him Mordred, and that is something I doubt has been seen before.”
3. Clara Spera Is a Lawyer, Like Her Grandmother
Like her grandmother, Clara Spera is also a lawyer. She’s licensed in New York.
According to a bio on the Lawfare Blog, she graduated from Harvard Law School after working as an intern in national security research at Brookings Institution. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago and a Master of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge.
While in law school, she worked on a project to expand access to reproductive care to low-income women as a 2019 Equal Justice Works Fellow.
She said about her work: “All women—not just those of means—should be able to make the best decision for herself and her family about whether and when to have children without undue state or political interference.”
She shared the following advice with Equal Justice Works:
My personal advice: if you don’t have a direct opportunity to work on reproductive rights in law school or work, you can try to create those opportunities. Most law schools allow students to design their own externship or clinical experiences, write independent research papers, or create other opportunities to explore a specific legal area. Reach out to a legal organization and tell them that you would like to take on a pro bono case or attend a one-day clinic. It does take a little bit of effort and some independent initiative, but it will help you learn these skills and signal to organizations that you’re committed.
4. Her Brother, Paul Spera, Is an Actor
Her brother, Paul Spera, is an actor. Paul Spera has many acting credits to his name, including As Happy as Possible, On the Basis of Sex, Marianne (Kevin Jameson), La Guerre des As, Immortality and more.
He married Francesca Sarah Toich in 2018 and Ginsburg officiated, The New York Times reported. They met in 2016 while performing as actors in Paris.
Paul Spera has a daughter — Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s first great-grandchild — named Lucrezia Mary Spera.
5. She Called Her Grandmother ‘Bubbie’
Clara Spera wrote an article for Glamour in 2018 about her grandmother, whom she called “Bubbie.” She said that whenever they went out, her grandmother was almost always asked for a photo or told how much she was loved and admired. She talked admiringly about Ginsburg’s focus on building consensus and her desire to respond to colleague’s concerns in her writings, not to advance her own personal interests.
Shortly before Ginsburg died, she dictated a statement to Clara Spera, NPR reported. She wrote: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.”