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Alan Dershowitz is the Best Known Criminal Lawyer in the World

published November 06, 2012

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Personal Life

Alan Morton Dershowitz, an american attorney, political commentator and jurist
Alan Morton Dershowitz is an American attorney, political commentator, and jurist. He has spent the past fifty years practicing the law and is well recognized for handling a number of high-profile legal cases. As a criminal appellate attorney, Alan has won fifteen, which is a high percentage of the dozens of attempted murder and murder cases he has managed. The attorney has represented several celebrities, which include Jim Bakker, Mike Tyson, and Patty Hearst. His most prominent cases include his role as an appellate consultant in the O.J. Simpson case, and for overturning the conviction of Claus von Bulow in 1984.

In addition to his consulting and appellate practice, Alan is a Professor at Harvard Law School. In 1967, at the age of twenty eight, he became the youngest full professor of law in its history. Since 1993, Alan has held the Felix Frankfurter professorship at Harvard.

The professor has published more than one hundred articles in journals and magazines such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic, Saturday Review, Commentary, The Yale Law Journal and the Harvard Law Review. Alan has also written 30 books about law and politics, including The Case for Peace (2005); Rights From Wrongs: A Secular Theory of the Origins of Rights (2004); The Case for Israel (2003); Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case (1996); Chutzpah (1991) and Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case (1985).

Alan was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and he attended Yeshiva University High School. The future Harvard professor admitted he “went from being a straight C student in high school to a straight A student in college.” In 1959, he received his A.B. from Brooklyn College. While enrolled at Brooklyn College, Allan studied history, philosophy, and politics. In 1962, he earned his Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) from Yale Law School, graduating first in his class. Alan was editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He is married to Carolyn Cohen and has three children.

When the professor isn't working, he enjoys long walks on the beach, good food, and watches basketball, baseball, and opera. For the past forty years, Alan has been a season ticket holder for the Boston Celtics. He regularly attends the Boston Red Sox home games and loves to play back yard basketball with his grandkids. The professor revealed he has a “wicked corner jump shot,” which he uses often to beat his seventeen year-old grandson in a game of horse. He also admitted he is a “beach bum,” who walks long hours on the Florida board walk and at the beach near his Martha's Vineyard home. Alan stated, “I do my best thinking walking on the beach.” The attorney is a frequent visitor at Clio, a sushi restaurant in Boston, and Chang Sho, a Chinese restaurant located in Cambridge.

Alan's Successful Law Career

Alan was asked if he received any awards or participated in any internship that influenced his decision to go into the law? The Harvard law professor stated, “When I was 7 or 8, I knew I wanted to be a lawyer. People told me I have a big mouth and that I was argumentative.” The attorney continued to say he didn't know what the practice of law was at that time. His only perception of the law came from watching movies, where innocent criminals were represented by defense attorneys.

So why did Alan decide to become an attorney? He said movies had influenced his decision to become an attorney. His father also told him the “Jewish thing to do is defend the underdog.” The professor acknowledged that it never occurred to him to do anything else. He didn't want to be a corporate lawyer; he just wanted to defend people in trouble.

The appellate attorney had a phenomenal law school experience, but one of his most memorable moments was when he collaborated with two professors to write a book.

Alan discussed what he had a knack for. He claimed, “I am known to be a good brief writer, appellate attorney, and strategist. I am always over prepared for court appearance.”

The professor also discussed his strengths and weaknesses as an attorney. He noted his strengths as “preparation, [being] quick on my feet, and [that] I never give up.” As for weakness, Alan declared, “I am controversial and I don't hold back. People either like me or they don't. Nobody's neutral to me.”

What does Alan think about the field today? What would he change about it? He proclaimed, “It's too much of a business and too little of a learned profession whose role is to defend people. Many lawyers today are really business people.”

Alan would like to see attorneys “defend individual rights.” He also believes attorneys must handle pro bono work, where they are responsible for representing a certain amount of people who have no money. The professor added, “I would like to raise the quality of judiciary.”

Is there an area of the law Alan is most passionate about? The attorney asserted, “Freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and civil liberties.” He expressed his opposition of the death penalty and is an advocate of defending people against crime.

Where does Alan see himself in five years? The professor will be retired and living in Florida. He explained he will spend time with his family and will continue to write and consult for individuals who need his assistance. The avid writer said he has another four or five books he would like to publish.

If Alan was not an attorney, what would he be doing? Although the professor would rather be a point guard for the Boston Celtics, he would have been an investigative journalist because it's the next closest profession to becoming an attorney.

When the professor was asked what motivates him to teach, he replied, “Teaching has an influence way beyond my lifetime.” He explained how he teaches eighteen year-old students and how he's able to influence them for the next sixty years. The Harvard professor was also proud of how he influenced many public officials who attended his class. He concluded, “I have a passion to get in front of class and exchange views with brilliant young women and men.”

In 1967, the attorney, who was only twenty eight, became a full professor at Harvard Law School. According to Wikipedia, “he was the youngest full professor of law in the school's history.” How did he feel about that accomplishment? The professor stated, “The fact that I was the youngest didn't strike me. I did everything young. My goal is to be the oldest professor at Harvard.”

What has been Alan's greatest accomplishment? The attorney claimed, “Changing the way of how homicide cases are appealed and creating new careers for lawyers.”

Does Allan have a toughest case? He answered, “All of my cases are tough. I never take easy cases. Pundits think I will lose. When I win, they are surprised.”

How does he want to be remembered? Alan said, “Somebody who helped the world.” He used the Hebrew phrase Tikkun olam, which means “repairing the world.”

Alan's Mentors, Pro Bono Work, and Non Profit Organizations

One of Alan's mentors is John Hope Franklin, a professor who taught him at Brooklyn College. He also has great admiration for David L. Bazelon, who used to be the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. After being admitted to the bar, Alan served as clerk for Judge Bazelon. What did he learn from him? The professor answered, “He is an important mentor. He taught me how to do well and good at the same time.” Alan acknowledged that Bazelon encouraged him until he passed away. The professor added, “It was like having a professional father. Sometimes we fought, but it was positive.”

The appellate attorney is also a mentor to his students. He takes the role very seriously and remains in touch with his students, who believe Alan is their “professor forever.” The professor discussed how he tries to mentor students who want to be civil and criminal attorneys because there are not many mentors for students. He encourages his students to be themselves, which was a quality that was taught to Alan by Professor Franklin.

The Harvard professor said fifty percent of his work is pro bono. Many of his most significant cases, including murder and death cases, have been pro bono. He explained how he represented dissidents in foreign countries such as the Soviet Union. The attorney used his own money on expenses and paid for experts.

Alan is involved with a non-profit organization called Hatzalah, a volunteer Israeli Emergency Medical Service (EMS) organization. The rescue organization involves Jews and Muslims, and enables them to work together to save people. Hatzalah uses vehicles to save people in the water. Alan has a motorcycle named after him in this organization; which saves lives.

Two High-Profile Cases

In Alan's book, Reasonable Doubts: The Criminal Justice System and the O.J. Simpson Case (1996), he wrote: “the Simpson case will not be remembered in the next century. It will not rank as one of the trials of the century. It will not rank with the Nuremberg trials, the Rosenberg trial, Sacco and Vanzetti. It is on par with Leopold and Loeb and the Lindbergh case, all involving celebrities. It is also not one of the most important cases of my own career. I would rank it somewhere in the middle in terms of interest and importance.” Why does Alan feel this way? The professor stated the trial brought attention, but it “didn't establish any new principles of the law.”

What did Alan learn from the O.J. Simpson case? The attorney said, “There is deep racial division in our country and it still remains.”

He said he isn't close friends with the attorneys involved in the Simpson case; they are “professional acquaintances.”
In 1984, Alan overturned the conviction of Claus von Bülow for the attempted murder of his wife, Sunny. What did he learn from this case? The professor proclaimed, “Winning an appeal is not just a technicality, I used the appeal to demonstrate his innocence.”

Alan's book, Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow Case, was turned into a movie in 1990. The professor was played by actor Ron Silver, and Alan himself had a cameo role as a judge. Was Alan happy with Ron Silver's portrayal of himself? The attorney stated, “Oh, yes, very much. He's a tremendous actor. He did a great job.” Alan gave credit to Silver for coming to see him teach and argue before he played the attorney in the movie.

Final Thought

I would like to thank Alan for the forty minute interview. He was very professional and answered all of my questions without objecting.

Recent Updates on Alan Dershowitz

Though Alan had every reason to believe he had made his dent in legal history and could spend his twilight years basking in the glory of a legal career with few contemporary parallels in terms of grandiosity, fate had a few more blows to deal him.

Recent Politics

Dershowitz has played dual roles in the last infamous election, which demonstrates, if anything, his integrity, for though he endorsed Hillary, calling her “a progressive on social issues, a realist on foreign policy, a pragmatist on the economy,” nevertheless, he has vocally argued in Donald Trump’s favor claiming that it is a scandal that Trump’s lawyer’s possessions were taken by the FBI. He has defended Trump and criticized Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation, speaking out on both CNN and Fox News. He regards Mueller as a “zealot.”

In an interview with Slate, he challenged the notion that the independence of the Mueller investigation should be upheld, saying, “I don’t agree with that at all. I think everybody is taking sides. Let me put it this way: If Hillary Clinton’s lawyers’ office and hotel room had been raided like President Trump’s was yesterday, the ACLU would be up in arms, the liberal bar would be up in arms, privacy advocates would be up in arms. The silence of the ACLU and others is deafening.”

He said at another time, “There never should have been an appointment of special counsel and there was no probable cause that crimes were committed. I’ve seen no credible evidence that crimes were committed by the president.”

On unrelated issues, he visited the White House to speak with Trump about the Middle East. As an outspoken advocate for Israel, he’s advised Clinton and Obama before Trump.

He said in an interview “I’m a liberal Democrat who voted for Hillary Clinton and I praise [Trump] when he deserves praise – like when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – and I criticize him when I think he deserves criticism, as when he had the travel ban, and other actions which I disagree with.”


Meanwhile, he has added his clout in defense of Harvey Weinstein.

“I have been retained to consult with Benjamin Brafman, Esquire, who is representing Harvey Weinstein,” he stated in a declaration. “I have agreed to consult on the specific issue of Mr. Brafman’s access to his client’s personal and business emails. On information and belief, it is my professional opinion that Mr. Brafman has the right to see and review these mails in order to prepare his constitutionally-mandated role as counsel to Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Brafman has the right to defend his client in the courts of law, in negotiations with prosecutors, in resolving civil claims in negotiation with civil lawyers and in the court of public opinion. On information and belief these emails contain information which is exculpatory of Mr. Brafman’s clients and places the allegations against him in a truthful context.“


A Florida court filing on December 30, 2014, alleged Alan Dershowitz as having had sexual activities with a minor. This muddle sprouts from the rot of the Jeffrey Epstein case. Epstein has been a personal friend of Dershowitz for years, and the latter helped defend Epstein in his sexual misconduct proceeding.

“This is very serious,” said Alan. “It involves my life, my legacy, my career, my history, my reputation.”

He calls the allegation an “outrageous lie.”

Dershowitz long told his students that even those charged with the most heinous crimes deserve a defense. Now he is demonstrating at what cost that comes.

While at John Hopkins University, delivering a vehement speech defending Israel, protestors held up a sign reading, “You Are Rape Culture.” This referred to his participation in defending Epstein.

“I’ve been criticized for the cases I’ve taken,” he said, “but no one has ever criticized my personal life.”

On another occasion he said, “I think I do regret having taken [Epstein’s] case in light of everything that has happened since. If I could give back the money I made in that case and have this episode of my life erased, I’d do it.”

He says he’s lost two clients on account of his accuser’s claims, and wonders if John Hopkins and other universities will have him speak or present him with awards.

The old adage, “live by the sword, die by the sword,” cuts too close to home with Dershowitz, who spent a career defending the “underdog” – high profile public figures with monumental allegations brought against them. Now, nearing his retirement, he is facing the same. He faces another of the nation’s most famous lawyers, David Boies, who represents his accuser.

He still holds his prestige. He’s become quite a celebrity, having appeared as himself on the television series Picket Fences, Spin City, and First City. He continues to win numerous awards and honorary doctorates in law from such universities as Yeshiva University, the Hebrew Union College, and Brooklyn College.

Frequently Asked Question

Who Is The Best Lawyer In The World?

In 2021, here are the top 10 best lawyers with high-profile clients and extensive experience:

10. John Branca

John Branca Net Worth 2021: $100 million

John Gregory Branca, also known as John Branca, is an entertainment lawyer and a manager. John specializes in representing rock and roll artists, private investors, and record labels. John has worked with many world-famous rock and roll artists, including Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, The Jackson 5, The Beachboys, and many others.

Michael Jackson's involvement with John made him more famous in the music industry. As a result, John is known as one of the best entertainment lawyers in the world, earning him a place on our list.

9. Jane Wanjiru Michuki

Jane Wanjiru Michuki Net Worth 2021: $50 million

Jane Wanjiru Michuki is a popular Kenyan lawyer and businesswoman. The Managing Partner of Kimani & Michuki Advocates, one of Nairobi's largest law firms with clients that include big names and large corporations. A tycoon in the investment world in Kenya, Jane is known for more than just law. According to reports, she is the largest female stockholder on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE). Want to know something else? She has a staggering net worth of $50 million.

Still not shocked? Here are her academic records. Her educational background includes the University of Nairobi in Kenya, a Diploma in Legal Principles from Kenya School of Law, and a Master of Laws from the University of Warwick. Due to her incredible educational background, Jane has won many cases throughout her legal career, making her one of the best lawyers in the world.

8. Roy Black

Roy Black Net Worth 2021: $65 million

Roy Black, better known as The Professor, is an American civil and criminal defense attorney. In 1991, Roy won the famous William Kennedy Smith rape case. Also very popular for being the attorney of Rush Limbaugh, the popular conservative know! o commentator. Roy has also represented Kelsey Grammer, Girls Gone Wild producer Joe Francis, Justin Bieber, and many more high-profile celebrities.

Roy earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Miami as well as a Juris Doctor at the University of Miami School of Law. Since Roy's graduation from law school in 1970, he has worked as an attorney. He earned the highest score on the Florida Bar Exam. Roy is undoubtedly one of the best lawyers in the world, with a long experience.

7. Willie E. Gary

Willie Gray Net Worth 2021: $15 million

Willie is also an American lawyer who deals with personal injury and medical malpractice. As a result of the large cases he presided over for his clients, Willie grew in popularity. Many of the cases made headlines in the top newspapers in the United States. Willie's story isn't quite as simple as it seems.

To be where he is now, he had to work hard. Willie's determination and hard work are to be admired. Despite his humble beginnings, he has achieved great success. Gary is not only known for his law career but also for his business career. According to reports, Gary worked multiple jobs before achieving success. In the year 2021, Willie is ranked among the world's top lawyers.

6. Judy Sheindlin

Judy Sheindlin Net Worth 2021: $440 million

Judith Susan Sheindlin professionally called Judge Judy, is another American prosecution lawyer, television personality, and author. Judy does not just practice law, she also has a show called Judge Judy. Since 1996, she has hosted the show successfully and won four Emmy awards. Sheindlin has openly announced that she will end the show after its 25th season in 2021/21.

Judy Justice will be the new show. Aside from winning high-profile cases, Judy's biggest accomplishment is the Judy Show. The Judy show was one of the most-watched daytime shows in America in 2009/2010. Today, Judy is known as one of the best lawyers in the world due to her numerous achievements in her career.

5. Bill Neukom

William Neukom Net Worth 2021: $8 Million

William Horlick Neukom professionally called Bill Neukom is yet another American attorney. Neutom is known for being the former manager and partner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. Bill is also known for serving as President of the American Bar Association in 2007/2008 and more recently as the Founder and CEO of the World Justice Project.

As his business entities grow, so does his net worth. After earning an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, Bill returned to the Bay Area and earned a law degree from Stanford Law School. Neukom has worked with Microsoft for many years. He was reportedly the Executive Vice President at Microsoft and worked there for more than 17 years. Among others, this makes Neukom one of the best lawyers in the world in 2021.

4. William Lerach

William Lerach Net Worth 2021: $900 million

William "Bill" Shannon Lerach, professionally known as William Lerach, is a popular lawyer who deals with private Securities Class Action lawsuits and has been disbarred from the practice of law for quite some time. William is also one of the richest lawyers in the world, with a net worth of 900 million dollars.

In 2009, after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice, William was sentenced to two years in prison and was disbarred from practicing law in California. Except for his imprisonment, William had a distinguished career as a lawyer. Over his legal career, he reportedly recovered $45 billion from defrauded investors.

3. Wichai Thongtang

Wichai Thongtang Net Worth 2021: $1.7 billion

Attorney Wichai Thongtang is also a business tycoon. He has been the CEO of 21 high-profile companies. Currently, Wichai is the Chairman of Grande Asset Hotels and Properties. He is also the Chairman of Wichai Thongtang Law firm, Chairman of Cable Thai Holding company, and Chairman of Sriracha Nakorn General Hospital.

In the past, Wichai has represented high-profile people and companies in court, earning him the title of one of the world's best lawyers.

2. Joe Jamail

Joe Jamail Net Worth 2021: $1.7 billion

Joseph Dahr Jamail Jr. professionally called Joe Jamail was an American lawyer and businessman. At the time of his death, Joe was the wealthiest lawyer in America, and he was known as the "King of Torts". Forbes estimated Joe's net worth at $1.7 billion. As a result of Joe's aggressive and persuasive personality, his career has been very successful.

In his first high-profile case, Joe represented Pennzoil in a lawsuit against Texaco. Pennzoil won the case and Joe was awarded a huge sum of money estimated to be about $335 million. Joe earned a law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. Joe is undoubtedly one of the best lawyers in the world.

1. Richard Scruggs

Richard Scruggs Net Worth 2021: $1.7 billion

Richard F. “Dickie” Scruggs professionally called Richard Scruggs is an American Naval aviator, and a trial lawyer, who is now also disbarred. People were surprised by Scroggs' law career. His first case was also controversial. In the 1990s, Richard successfully sued the asbestos industry on behalf of a critically ill worker. In the 1990s, Richard represented the state of Mississippi in a controversial tobacco case in Mississippi.

According to reports, Richard was also the lawyer for hundreds of homeowners who sued insurance companies after a major hurricane. He is known as the best lawyer in the world because of this case and many others he has represented.

Who Is The Richest Criminal Lawyer In The World?

Lawyers are respected because of the nature of their work. Lawyers are often the ones who decide the outcome of a lawsuit. Our community is generally governed by one or more regulations. Humans, on the other hand, are sure to make mistakes and break any laws in place, which is why we need these lawyers.

Regardless of what type of criminal case you have, these attorneys can help you win it. It takes a lot of triumphs, service fees, and work to be one of the top ten highest-paid criminal lawyers.

Here are the top 10 highest paid criminal lawyers in the world:

1. Jose Baez 

Jose Baez is the best lawyer in the world, with a net worth of $7 million. The murder of Casey Anthony made him a superstar, and he served as the primary prosecutor.

Among his notable cases as a lawyer are those of Elviria Gracia and Wilfredo Vazquez. In 1997, Jose graduated from St. Thomas University of Law. Jose charges close to a million dollars for each of the criminal cases he handles.

2. Willie E. Gary

In addition to being a lawyer, Willie is a motivational speaker.

Gary earned the nickname "The Giant Killer" after successfully prosecuting some of America's biggest companies on behalf of his clients. Many of the biggest jury awards and settlements have been awarded to him, including litigation valued at more than $30 billion.

In each case he handles, Willie charges over 100,000 USD. His net worth is estimated to be around 6,300,000 USD, making him one of the ten highest-paid criminal lawyers in the world.

3. John Branca

John graduated from UCLA Law School with a law degree. He is one of the top ten highest-paid criminal lawyers in the world, and he is well-liked.

Lawyer John has a fortune of more than $50 million dollars. He is well known in the entertainment industry. He has worked with celebrities such as Carlos Santana, Aerosmith, Rolling Stone, Playboy, Penthouse, and Forbes.

4. Vernon Jordan

Vernon is a well-known lawyer, civil rights activist, and business advocate from the United States. Previously, he served as a special adviser to President Bill Clinton. The Howard School of Law is where Vernon earned his law degree.

He is estimated to have a net worth of millions of dollars. Only a few people are able to afford the $600,000 Vernon charges for each case.

5. Harish Salve

Harish is a well-known Indian lawyer who specializes in business law, constitutional law, and tax law.

He served nine years as India's Solicitor General. Reliance, Tata, ITC, and Vodafone are among his clients. He is estimated to have a net worth of $2 million.

6. Vikkie Ziegler

As a lawyer, author, and television personality, Vikki Ziegler has a net worth of $2.5 million dollars.

New Jersey native Ziegler earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Rhode Island. To earn her law degree, she went on to Quinnipiac College School of Law in Connecticut. Her expertise has allowed her to succeed in criminal cases of all types.

Vikkie's net worth is estimated at 2.5 million USD.

7. Stacey Gardner

Stacey Gardner, a model and lawyer from the United States, has a net worth of $1 million dollars. Every time she goes to court, Gardener looks like a model.  Her law school is Southwestern Law School.

8. Howard K. Stern

In 2021, Howard Stern is expected to have a net worth of $650 million. He is an actor, producer, and television personality based in New York. Stern gained prominence after accepting a marketing job at Benton & Bowles.

Graduated from the University of California. Howard Stern is one of the most popular radio hosts of all time. As the top-paid lawyer in California, he charges more than 10,000 USD per day.

9. Albert Stainoz

Albert Stainoz is a citizen of the United States. He works in the currency exchange industry. During his career, Albert has won 99.43 percent of his cases and charges a large fee to his clients in exchange for a guarantee of success in court.

Stainoz has a net worth of $320,000,000. He is the 9th-highest-paid lawyer on our list of the world's highest-paid lawyers.

10. Benjamin Civiletti

Lawyer Benjamin Civiletti is well-known in the United States. He has been practicing law since 2005. Benjamin is one of those hard-working lawyers who charge a high fee, but who also wins every case.

With a total net worth of $300,000, Benjamin has risen to the top of our list. Even at age 81, Benjamin is still among the highest-paid lawyers in the country.

Who Is The Number 1 Lawyer In The World?

After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1962, Alan Dershowitz went straight to work. According to Fortune magazine, he is "corporate America's number one hired gun." He joined the Harvard Law School faculty in 1964 and was made a full professor in 1967. (He retired in 2013.)

Who Are the Best Lawyers in American History?

Of the many great lawyers, there are a few that stand out in a class by themselves. As long as the country has existed, lawyers have played an important role in it. As a result of such an extensive list, you may be wondering, who are the best lawyers in American history? It can be difficult to identify those who are above the rest, but we have done the legwork for you, so you don't have to.

Among the most influential lawyers in American history, five stand out. Johnnie Cochran, Joe Jamail, Mary Jo White, and Thurgood Marshall are five of the best lawyers in American history. It is a topic that will be debated for centuries to come, but there is no denying the impact these lawyers had on the country's history and the legal system today.

Although there are many factors that determine the best lawyer, it is important to remember that this list is subjective. It is impossible to name all the great lawyers of American history; here is a collection of five that we found to be the best. Now that we understand that, let's examine the list.

Abraham Lincoln

One of the most famous lawyers in history, Abraham Lincoln, can easily be counted among the greatest. Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States and a great lawyer who won a murder case as a criminal defense lawyer by using an almanac as evidence for his client's innocence. Lincoln eventually earned the reputation and nickname "Honest Abe" for his dedication to his clients.

Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White is considered one of the best lawyers in American history because of her fearlessness and tenacity. In 2014, Forbes listed her among the top 100 most powerful women in the world.

The first woman to serve as the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York made American history in addition to her long list of professional accomplishments. In this capacity, she tried numerous high-profile cases, including John Gotti, the infamous mobster boss of the Gambino crime family. Additionally, she was responsible for prosecuting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing terrorists.

Mary Jo White was often overshadowed by those mentioned above, but she was also responsible for pursuing legal action against Wall Street's white-collar crimes. Dedicated to the cause, Mary Jo White received a $340 million fine for illegally concealing over $1 billion in trade losses against Daiwa Bank (Japan).

Mary Jo White also achieved a remarkable feat by being Senate-confirmed and sworn into office as the 31st Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under President Barack Obama in 2013.

Johnnie Cochran

O.J Simpson's trial was so widely publicized that nearly every household in America knows about it. As the lead lawyer for a team of well-known criminal defense lawyers, Johnny Cochran defended O.J Simpson against charges alleging that he murdered his wife. Johnnie Cochrane and his team presented a case that led to O.J Simpson's acquittal.

Johnny Cochran represented many other big names from Los Angeles, including Sean Combs, Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, Stanley Tookie Williams, and Snoop Dogg.

Not only was he known for his commanding presence in the courtroom as a skilled lawyer, but he was also a prominent advocate for victims of police brutality.

Joe Jamail

Despite sometimes debatably appropriate conduct, Joe Jamail's character in court shows that he is a person who exhibits passion, aggression, and even abrasion at times. He has been described as the "King of Torts."

In 1985, Joe Jamail represented Pennzoil against Texaco, one of the most well-known cases of his career. Joe Jamail won the case and collected a $335 million contingency fee.

Individuals interested in a career in law were advised by Joe Jamail in the following manner:
  • Have authenticity; people can sense a phony.
  • Present exacting language, the jury will remember during deliberation.
  • Trust your judgment; even clients can be wrong at times.
  • Don’t be arrogant; pretend like you are facing the strongest opponents every time.

Throughout his career, Joe Jamail was known for taking on big names and big numbers. Among his clients were General Motors and Honda. As a philanthropist, Joe Jamail made a significant impact not only in the courtroom but also in the community. Joe Jamail donated a large part of his fortune to universities and other schools.

Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to become a Supreme Court justice, was an extremely successful attorney during his private practice.

Thurgood Marshall is remembered in American history as a pivotal component in abolishing legal segregation in his 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Thurgood Marshall's advocacy for change became clear to the nation through this case.

His most notable accomplishments during his time as a lawyer include:
  • Presented the most cases in history to the United States Supreme Court
  • Won 29 of his 32 cases presented to the United States Supreme Court
  • Ruling in Murray v. Pearson led to the elimination of segregation in Maryland
  • The chief legal counsel of NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
  • First African American to be named United States Solicitor General under President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • Won 14 of his 19 cases on behalf of the United States Government while serving as United States Solicitor General
  • Nominated to the United States Court of Appeal for the Second Circuit by President John F. Kennedy

Thurgood Marshall's decorated career makes him an obvious choice for the list of the top lawyers in American history. American history would be written differently if he had not made numerous rulings. A person with or without a legal background can be inspired by Thurgood Marshall.