Onlookers quickly learned of her distinguished, groundbreaking career, one that saw her become the first female justice of the British Supreme Court in 2007, and in 2017 its first female president.
In a profession dominated by men from prestigious fee-paying schools, Hale was educated in the public system and was its first student to go to Cambridge University. According to a profile in The Guardian, she once worked in a pub while studying for her bar exams.
But Tuesday, Twitter seemed more interested in the brooches.
It was hard to ignore that while reading the court's judgment, Hale sported a silver pin in the shape of a spider. What did it mean? What message was this arachnid adornment supposed to convey to the nation, and indeed the world?