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Top 10 Best Celebrity Lawyers

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Q.V. Hough These lawyers are celebrities, and often FOR celebrities. These men and women have taken part in some of the biggest court cases ever, and represented some of the most famous clients. From famous quotes such as “If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit” to taking on civil rights court cases such as Julian Assange’s extradition case, these lawyers are some of the best and most famous in the world.

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Top 10 Best Celebrity Lawyers

When times get tough, celebrities always know who to call. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Celebrity Lawyers.

For this list, we’re focusing on high-profile lawyers that crossed over into pop culture through their work. Some practice law more than others, but what they all have in common is an actual law degree.

#10: Amal Clooney

You just may recognize the name straight away as George Clooney’s wife, but Amal Clooney’s a bit more accomplished than a typical “celebrity.” In her younger days, Amal Alamuddin’s family escaped the Lebanese Civil War, an event that undoubtedly influenced her interest in civil rights. In 2001, a year after obtaining her degree in Jurisprudence from Oxford, Amal enrolled in New York University’s School of Law master’s program and passed the New York State Bar the following year. Clooney's legal career has been a notable one as she’s the lawyer that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange selected for his controversial extradition case. Given her striking presence, top-notch education and global interests, Amal is more than just top-notch celebrity lawyer, she’s unquestionably one of the best.

#9: Harvey Levin

Years before reality TV took over America, TMZ’s founder made a living within the legal system like any other lawyer… but on reality TV. Think hard, and you just may recall Harvey Levin’s early days on “The People’s Court,” and you surely remember his work during the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. These days, he’s all about celebrity culture, yet his law education dates back to the University of California-Santa Barbara, with his degree coming from the University of Chicago’s Law School. It’s been a few years since Harvey’s last courtroom case, yet he’s fully evolved into a breaking news mogul and consistently keeps celebrities watching for those TMZ cameras.

#8: Jim Garrison

Born in the Midwest and educated at New Orleans’ Tulane University Law School, Garrison will forever be linked to John F. Kennedy. For years, Jim Garrison played a major role in Bourbon Street’s revitalization, and by 1966, his investigations opened the door wide open on JFK’s assassination. In fact, Garrison’s persistence changed American history, as he’s responsible for the first public viewing of the Zapruder footage, the infamous clip that wouldn’t be shown on network television until 1975. Garrison was succeeded as DA by Harry Connick Sr- father of the noted jazz singer- in 1973 but would later return to the courtroom for a cameo in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film “JFK,” in which Kevin Costner played Garrison– and Garrison played Earl Warren.

#7: Vincent Bugliosi

As many true crime loyalists already know, this man wrote some of the 20th century’s most iconic books, beginning with 1974’s “Helter Skelter.” As Charles Manson’s prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi received an up-close-and-personal look into the dark side of 60’s counter-culture, an experience that led him to his prolific writing career. Born in Minnesota, Bugliosi later graduated high school in Hollywood, California, and he famously served Los Angeles well, as he never lost a single homicide case during his run as the city’s district attorney. From the UCLA School of Law to pop culture pundit, Bugliosi influenced the world in many ways.

#6: Marcia Clark

In the 70s, this California native attended UCLA and ultimately received her law degree from nearby Southwestern University School of Law. For the entirety of the 80s and early 90s, Marcia Clark continued on with her practical business, prosecuting criminals in Los Angeles County. Of course, this led her directly to the infamous O.J. Simpson trial, as her accomplished career made her the ideal lawyer to prosecute “The Juice.” She’s a defining figure of celebrity culture, and a lawyer that continues to stay relevant long after her most famous case, even if the aforementioned Vincent Bugliosi was critical of her work during the Simpson case. All in all, Clark always seemed to overcome the odds.

#5: Gloria Allred

In the early 60s, it took some time for this Philadelphia native to settle on legal work, until, that is, she attended L.A.’s Southwestern School of Law. During the subsequent decades, Allred established herself as an accomplished civil rights defender, supporting feminist causes and even defending numerous high profile celebrities. She’s widely known for her involvement with the O.J. Simpson case, in which she represented the late Nicole Brown Simpson’s family. Fifteen years later, she remained in the public eye, as Tiger Woods' most famous mistress looked to Gloria for guidance. And so, just her name alone speaks volumes in terms of celebrity law.

#4: F. Lee Bailey

Here’s a celebrity lawyer that took part in the well-documented O.J. Simpson case, but he certainly wasn’t defined by it. Back in the 1950s, F. Lee Bailey served in the United States Marine Corps and he subsequently broke academic records at Boston University School of Law. Years after defending Sam Sheppard – the inspiration for “The Fugitive” TV series and film – Bailey worked on a variety of high profile cases, ranging from Patty Hearst to The Boston Strangler, In fact, the latter confessed TO F. Lee Bailey, which says something about his technique and disposition. He’s one of the more controversial celebrity lawyers, but he’s got a firm place in American pop culture.

#3: Clarence Darrow

This man lived and worked in a time before tabloids and reality TV. As a lawyer in touch with the working man, Clarence Darrow built a reputation upon honor and charm. He’s also the lawyer that defended the “Leopard and Loeb” case, in which he stunned American society with his eloquence and law theory, as well as the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial. As American media evolved, Darrow became even more famous, as he’s the antithesis of the nasty and soulless defense attorney.

#2: Alan Dershowitz

Long before Williamsburg, Brooklyn became a haven for liberal hipsters, the famous Big Apple borough birthed this well known criminal law attorney. Alan Dershowitz received an Ivy League education at Yale Law School, and he first entered pop culture conversations for his work in the “Deep Throat” case –that is, the porno, and not its namesake Nixon informant. From that point forward, Dershowitz handled a variety of high-profile cases, most notably the 1984 Claus von Bulow appeal. He has defended numerous celebrities including Mike Tyson and Jim Bakker, and he famously advised O.J. Simpson’s defense team back in the 90s. He’s the celebrity lawyer that celebs go to when times get especially rough, which makes him a hot commodity year after year.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Leslie Abramson

Mark Geragos

#1: Johnnie Cochran

You know the words: “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.” In the mid-90s, Johnnie Cochran famously and successful defended O.J. Simpson. Despite his life accomplishments, though, this one case alone may define his legacy. But the Los Angeles native put in the work for years, first at UCLA and later at Loyola Law School. In fact, Cochran tried his first high-profile case back in 1964, as he defended the famous American comedian Lenny Bruce before taking on cases that had significant impacts within the African-American communities of Los Angeles and beyond. While fellow O.J. lawyers Robert Shapiro and Robert Kardashian have their place in pop culture, Cochran’s societal legacy makes him the ultimate celebrity lawyer.

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