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Book Review: Raising the Bar: A Lawyer’s Memoir by Ruth Rymer

We pass through life with what we hear, see, taste, smell and touch. Reading gives me a different perspective on life through sight. Here is a book I recently reviewed. Having 2 lawyers in the family, I was interested to hear about Ms. Rymer’s experience as a lawyer:

When the book began, I wondered how the writer would pull out of the situation she found herself in with her parents. It looked bleak and that her strong conviction could be the death of her. I didn’t want to put the book down until I learned the outcome of those tumultuous times and it was becoming obvious a severe break in relations was going to happen but between Ruth and who? I was pulled into her life story immediately.

It was both heartwarming and sad to learn about the next decades with her own family beginning and how she had to stand her ground to reach the level of education she and her husband had both agreed to early on. Reading about some of the trips she took with her family and friends showed the happy times and the memories she made.

Ms. Rymer’s contribution in the field of law and especially around divorce and the California Family Law Act of 1970, helped many families get fair treatment. It wasn’t always the woman who got less favorable treatment. “Bill’s case became my first win, and he taught me that women do not have a monopoly on misery.” Her groundbreaking work wasn’t only with clients but in helping create a lawyer certification in Family Law specialty.

Her life work is inspiring to me, and I highly recommend this memoir for people who want to make an impact in the world but have had to overcome challenges. Ruth’s courage to overcome early family control as a young adult and then to be a champion for women and men in Family Law shows her strength of character. “They had misjudged me. After twenty years in the boxing ring, I was not to be pushed aside.” She certainly was not pushed aside.


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