Famous people with a law degree

An education in law may not immediately sound like the necessary foundation for a career in the spotlight. However, acquiring dynamic legal skills can prove indispensable when the intensity of global fame is upon you.

Here are eight people whose background in conflict resolution, intellectual property, entertainment law, and of course, tax law, has contributed to their rise to worldwide prominence.

John Grisham

One of the biggest selling authors of all time began professional life as a plumber, then an underwear salesman, before becoming a trial lawyer. Inspired by his experience in the courtroom, he penned the bestselling thriller The Client, among many others.

Mahatma Ghandi

As a graduate of law at University College, London, Mahatma Ghandi was admitted to the bar in 1891 and briefly practiced in Bombay. He became the leader of the Indian Independence movement and famously instituted nonviolent civil disobedience as a method of protest.

Nelson Mandela

Before the name of Nelson Mandela became synonymous with freedom and equality through tireless political activity, the man practiced law in Johannesburg. It can be said this is where his activism that made him the legend we recognise today began.

Andrea Bocelli

The legendary classical singer used his talent singing to earn money in Italian piano bars to pay for his law degree at the University of Pisa. He completed his degree and worked as a lawyer for one year. Then he decided to become one of the world’s greatest classical singers.

Barack and Michelle Obama

Both Barack and Michelle Obama are graduates of Harvard Law. This enigmatic couple occupy one spot on our list because they are a ridiculously talented family, they used to live in the White House, and they don’t need two spots on our list. They deserve them, but they don't need them.

Hillary Clinton

At times, it was impossible to escape the US Democratic Party presidential candidate, not least because of her Republican opponent, in the race to the 45th US presidency. However, only one of them has a law degree from the prestigious Yale University. Go back and listen to last year's US elections with your eyes closed and see if you can tell which one it is.

Amal Alamuddin Clooney

Amal Alamuddin Clooney is a lawyer of the highest calibre. Having graduated from NYU School of Law, and having worked in a globally top-ranked law firm taking on famous clients like Enron and Arthur Andersen, she now focusses on international law and human rights. She is a powerful example of the possibilities open to those who qualify in law without transitioning to other careers.

If you want to find out how high you can fly, then check out our selection of law qualifications.

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