Top 10 Most Famous Lawyers in American History

by World's Top Insider

There is a wide range in quality when it comes to Lawyers, but among all the brilliant ones, only a select few really shine as the best of the best. To trace the roots of American law back to its founding would be to trace the roots of the American bar itself.

Because there is such a large pool of candidates, you may wonder: Who are the most prominent Lawyers in American history?

Finding the best of the best might be difficult, but we’ve done the legwork for you. Five notable Lawyers have made significant contributions to American history. Abraham Lincoln, Mary Jo White, Johnnie Cochran, Joe Jamail, and Thurgood Marshall are five of the finest Lawyers in American history.

There is no questioning the influence these Lawyers had on shaping American history and the legal system as we know it today, but this subject will be hotly contested for generations to come.

Table of Contents

10. Barack Obama

Barack Obama

On December 6, 2012, during a presidential portrait sitting for an official shot, President Barack Obama was photographed while posing for the portrait in the Oval Office.

(Official White House Photographer Pete Souza provided this picture) Barack Hussein Obama is a politician and attorney who is the first African-American to hold the office of President of the United States of America. He is the only President of the United States who can trace his ancestry back to Africa.

He was honored with a Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1991. After that, he moved to Chicago and began working as a lawyer specializing in civil rights cases. This ended up being the catalyst for a successful political career.

9.   Richard Nixon

Richard Nixon

Source: YouTube

Given that he was one of the few presidents to ever be impeached, Richard Nixon is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing figures in American presidential history. Before he entered politics, he had already established himself as a successful attorney.

After receiving his law degree from Duke University in 1937, he began his legal career in the state of California. Although he had a distinguished legal career, he is most recognized for becoming the first president in history to step down from his position.

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8.   Robert Kardashian

Robert Kardashian


Even though most people associate the Kardashian family with the entertainment business, the Kardashians’ father is one of the most well-known Lawyers in the United States.

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Soon after receiving his legal degree from the University of San Diego, he took and was successful in passing the bar examination.

In addition to his role as a defense team member in the OJ Simpson case, he was active in the public sector. Many people working in the area of law are still blown away by his accomplishments, even though he passed away in 2003.

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7.   Abraham Lincoln

 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is most known for serving as the 16th President of the United States of America. As President, he oversaw the United States through one of the most difficult periods in its history: the American Civil War.

In addition to his work in politics, he had a distinguished career as a successful attorney.

In 1836, he was granted admission to the Illinois bar and promptly started his career as a legal practitioner. Attorney Abraham Lincoln was skilled in both criminal and civil practice. Lincoln and his associates successfully resolved over 5,000 disputes before he entered politics.

6.   Andrew Jackson

  Andrew Jackson

Source: YouTube

Andrew Jackson had a long and active professional life, one of the many facets of which was his work as an attorney. People often connect between the man shown on the twenty-dollar bill and his time serving as President of the United States.

In addition to his role as the seventh President of the United States, he was admitted to the bar in North Carolina the same year.

He was one of the youngest prosecuting Lawyers in the history of the United States when he was appointed to that position at the age of 21. Additionally, he is a co-founder of the Democratic Party in its early stages.

He served the country in several capacities, including those of President of the United States, Senator, Military Governor, Soldier, and Attorney, earning him a seat on the twenty-dollar bill.

5.   William Howard Taft

  William Howard Taft

Source: YouTube


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William Howard Taft was one of the many lawyers who later chose a career in politics and was no exception. In the history of the United States of America, he served as the 27th President. In addition, he was the 10th Chief Justice of the United States.

He has the unique distinction of being the only person in history to have held both positions simultaneously. At first, Taft was allowed to become a member of the Ohio Bar.

As an assistant prosecutor for Hamilton County, he was employed by that jurisdiction. Soon after the United States entered World War I, he was elected President of the United States and went on to become President.

4.   Johnnie Cochran

 Johnnie Cochran

Source: YouTube

Johnnie Cochran is another well-known American attorney who participated in O.J. Simpson’s defense and acquittal and worked on the case. In addition to O.J.

Simpson, he represented Jim Brown, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur, Sean Combs, and Todd Bridges. Moreover, he was a lawyer for OJ Simpson. In the 1960s, he obtained his legal license in California and began his career there.

He served as a prosecutor in the criminal justice system in Los Angeles before transitioning into the private sector.

3.   Woodrow Wilson

Woodrow Wilson

Source: YouTube

Thomas Woodrow Wilson, sometimes called the “schoolmaster in politics,” is revered for the idealistic tenor he displayed as a leader on the Princeton University faculty and as the university’s President, as well as in his roles as President of the United States and as a world leader during and after World War I.

The accomplishments of Woodrow Wilson have been called into question in light of the passage of time and the changes that have taken place in the United States. He served as the 28th President of the United States of America and was also an outstanding legal mind.

After being admitted to the Georgia State Bar, he began his career as an attorney. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree before he was elected President of the United States.

2.   Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall

Source: YouTube

One of the most well-known Lawyers in American history was Thurgood Marshall. In addition to his work as an attorney, he served on the Supreme Court of the United States as an Associate Justice, becoming the 96th member of the court.

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In addition to this, he is well-known for becoming the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States. First and foremost, Thurgood Marshall was called to the bar in the state of Maryland. His leadership in the landmark case Brown v.

Board of Education, which led to the integration of public schools throughout the United States, is often considered his most famous accomplishment in the legal field.

1.   Robert Shapiro

Robert Shapiro

Source: YouTube

On September 2, 1942, Robert Shapiro entered the world. He was born in Plainfield, New Jersey. In 1965, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the Anderson School of Business at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and in 1968, he graduated from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles with a degree in law.

He separated himself from the other students at Loyola by receiving two honors in American Jurisprudence and the moot court competition at the school.

As a direct consequence of this, he was promoted to the position of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His experience as a judge not only provided him with valuable connections for the future but also revealed that working in the legal system was his actual vocation.

In the 1960s, he was accepted into the California State Bar Association. His role as a member of the defense team for O.J. Simpson, who was being prosecuted for murder, was his most significant contribution. To effectively defend him against these allegations, he orchestrated the work of a dream team of Lawyers. Later on, Robert Shapiro established the company known as LegalZoom.



These are only some of the most well-known Lawyers in American history, but there are many more. Even though there is a strong connection between the political and legal spheres, the legal industry is rather expansive, and there are many different kinds of lawyers.

Remember that this ranking is subjective, even though numerous elements go into determining who is the finest lawyer. We could never hope to compile a comprehensive list of the finest Lawyers in American history since there have been simply too many to include individually. Knowing this, let’s examine the index.

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