Jane Ginsburg is Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s daughter. Ginsburg’s brother, James Steven Ginsburg, is her only sibling. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died due to complications from pancreatic cancer on September 18.
Like her parents, Jane Ginsburg has enjoyed a successful career in the legal profession. At 63 years old, she is a professor of law at Columbia Law School. She has two children, Paul and Clara, with her husband George Spera, who is also a lawyer.
Here’s what you need to know about Ginsburg’s daughter, Jane Ginsburg:
1. Jane Ginsburg Is a Professor of Literary & Artistic Property at Columbia Law School
Ginsburg is currently the Morton L. Janklow Professor of Literary & Artistic Property Law at Columbia Law School.
According to her official Columbia bio, her job includes the following roles: “She teaches legal methods, copyright law, international copyright law, and trademarks law, and is the author or co-author of casebooks in all four subjects, as well as of many articles and book chapters on domestic and international copyright and trademark law.”
Ginsburg has been at Columbia Law on and off since 1991. She has received the following awards over the course of her career, according to her CV: ChIPs Women in IP Hall of Fame Honoree (October 2015), the Mark T. Banner Award from the American Bar Association Section on Intellectual Property (May 2015), IP Hall of Fame inductee (2008) and more.
2. Ginsburg Holds Several Higher Education Degrees, Including a Doctorate of Law from the University of Paris
Via her Columbia biography, Ginsburg attended the University of Chicago as an undergraduate, then the University of Chicago for her Master’s. Following this, she followed her mother’s footsteps and enrolled at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1980. While at Harvard Law School, she was the editor and note editor of the Harvard Law Review, and she graduated cum laude, according to her CV.
But Ginsburg’s academic pedigree doesn’t end there. She also holds a Doctor of Laws from the University of Paris.
During Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s time at Harvard Law School, she simultaneously had to raise Jane, a toddler at the time, while attending to her own coursework. Ruth Bader Ginsburg credited her daughter for her immense success at Harvard, saying to The Atlantic, “I think I had better balance, better sense of proportions of what matters. I felt each part of my life gave me respite from the other.”
3. Ginsburg Has Authored Several Legal Thought Pieces, Including ‘Trademark & Unfair Competition Law: Cases’
Jane Ginsburg has co-authored several legal articles and books, some of which are available on Amazon.
Titles she has contributed to include Introduction to Law and Legal Reasoning, Trademark and Unfair Competition Law: Cases and others.
In total, Ginsburg has co-authored or contributed to at least 13 books, according to her CV, and co-authored or contributed to over 23 chapters of legal work. She has written over three dozen legal articles, as well.
4. Ginsburg & Her Mother Were the First Mother-Daughter Duo to Serve on the Columbia School Faculty Together
Both of Jane Ginsburg’s parents were faculty members at Columbia Law School during their lives. At one point, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a faculty member at the same time her daughter was, making them the first mother-daughter duo to accomplish this feat, according to the American Bar Association.
Via USA Today, Ginsburg said of raising her daughter while pursuing a law degree, “I went to class about 8:30 a.m., and I came home at 4:00 p.m., that was children’s hour.”
Ginsburg continued, “It was a total break in my day, and children’s hour continued until Jane went to sleep. Then I was happy to go back to the books, so I felt each part of my life gave me respite from the other.”
5. Ginsburg Is Married to George Spera & Has 2 Children, Paul & Clara
Ginsburg is married to George Spera and has two children, Paul and Clara. Spera was a graduate of Harvard Law School, as well; he is now a practicing attorney in New York for Shearman & Sterling LLC.
Ginsburg and Spera’s co-parenting style was featured in a 2003 edition of the Harvard Law Review, in which Ginsburg credited her husband’s hands-on parenting style as an advantage for her, professionally. In the review, Ginsburg noted how many women waited to have children or avoided having children entirely because it was so difficult to be a mother in the legal profession. She added, “It will be very important for that not to be an issue anymore, as much for men as for women.”
Clara Spera wrote an essay for Glamour in 2018 about her relationship with her grandmother, writing in part:
You may know her as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, or affectionately as the Notorious RBG, but to me she’s Bubbie. Bubbie with whom I spend most High Holy Days. Bubbie who took me to see The Book of Mormon, where we both laughed until we cried. Bubbie who loves going to the movies. Bubbie at whom I get a kick out of poking fun. Just a Bubbie like any other.
Clara Spera continued:
I have learned from her focus on consensus building and her appreciation for measured improvement over time. Previously, I thought that winning, and only on my own terms, was the path to success (just ask my former debate partners). But her work and friendships—like with the late Justice Antonin Scalia—have inspired me to listen to those I may disagree with and to find areas where we can build together.