Walk down the street of any city in America and ask folks to name a lawyer. Chances are great you will hear one name more than any other. And it won't be Perry Mason. Or even Ally McBeal.
This week's Law Star
, as big a celebrity as some of the superstars he has represented, has been called "America's Lawyer." And even if you did not agree with the verdict in, well, let's just call it the most abundantly publicized criminal case of the last millennium, you have to admire the record of the inimitable Johnnie L. Cochran, Jr.
He boasts a 40-year history of taking on tough cases, and winning. And although he is best known for his success in helping Hollywood hot shots in big trouble, he is most proud of his lesser publicized work: defending Davids against Goliaths in civil rights and personal injury trials you won't necessarily see on Court TV.
Remember, before the initials O.J. came to represent something other than a favorite beverage or football hero, and long before one particularly infamous murder case catapulted an already-seasoned and well-respected trial lawyer to world-wide fame, Johnnie Cochran had built his rep and rock-solid record during his early years as a tough civil litigator in cases unpopular with the LAPD, among others.
Mr. Cochran was born in Shreveport, Louisiana in 1937. He received his bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of California at Los Angeles and earned his J.D. in 1962 at the Loyola University School of Law.
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