University of Minnesota law professor shares his memories of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

People across the country are reflecting on the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg after the iconic Supreme Court justice passed away on Friday.

Saturday night, candlelight vigils were held across the area, including a small gathering outside the Minnesota Justice Center in St. Paul.

As the nation grieves, Ginsburg's death is a personal loss for University of Minnesota law professor Robert Stein.

"It is very sad," he said. "She’s a wonderful person, but it’s also very sad for the country. She’s a great champion of justice."

Professor Stein’s close friendship with Justice Ginsburg goes back some 40 years. They met while he was dean of the U of M law school and he hosted her during his lecture series in 2014.

Professor Stein asked the justice what her dream job would be and her sense of humor was on full display.

“I would be a diva," she quipped.

He spoke Saturday of her love of her family, friends, the opera, and her pop icon status.

"She absolutely loved that and when I would visit her in her chambers, she’d want to bring me over to a table she had there where she would show these things and it gave her great delight," said Stein.

But her real passion was of the constitution and in her fight for equality.

"I remember once introducing her at an event, and I talked about her expanding the constitutional rights for women and she corrected me and said 'no,'" recalled Stein. "She’s been engaged in expanding constitutional rights for all persons."

"It’s tough for me to think of any female attorneys that haven’t been inspired in one way or another by her," added attorney Debbie Lang. "Even if you didn’t agree with her, you still would’ve been moved by her."

Minneapolis attorney Debbie Lang says the death of Justice Ginsburg hit her hard.

"I was shocked. Obviously, we all aware of her age but honestly she was invincible, and I just never really thought it would actually happen," Ginsburg said.

While she’s never met the justice, Ginsburg's work has shaped her own career.

"She was so petite, she was feminine, she was brilliant and she was fierce," said Lang. "All in one package and she was amazing."