Famous 20th Century Lawyers & Judges

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall.
6
Famous As: Former Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court
Birthdate: July 2, 1908
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: January 24, 1993

The first African-American member of the US Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall was an associate justice from 1967 to 1991. Earlier as an attorney, he fought for the abolishment of racial segregation in American public schools. He was also a strong proponent of individual rights. A symbol of black icon, there are numerous memorials in America to honour his legacy.

 2 Johnnie Cochran

Johnnie Cochran.
5
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: October 2, 1937
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Shreveport, Louisiana, United States
Died: March 29, 2005
Johnnie Cochran was an American civil activist and lawyer. Cochran played an important role in the acquittal of former football player O. J. Simpson in connection with the murder of the latter's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson. Cochran had also represented other celebrities like Michael Jackson, Sean Combs, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg, Riddick Bowe, and Jim Brown to name a few.
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 3 Alan Dershowitz

Alan Dershowitz.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: September 1, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Brooklyn

One of the most famous American lawyers, Alan Dershowitz is known for handling high profile cases. In 1995, he was part of the Dream Team on the O. J. Simpson murder trial. He has also been part of the defense team for cases involving personalities like Donald Trump. He has written many books about law and politics.

 4 Martin D. Ginsburg

Martin D. Ginsburg.
4
Famous As: Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Husband
Birthdate: June 10, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York City
Died: June 27, 2010

Martin D. Ginsburg was one of the most successful tax attorneys and the husband of U.S Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Apart from serving as a lawyer, Martin also taught at several prestigious law schools, such as New York University Law School, Columbia Law School, and Harvard Law School. After representing business magnate Ross Perot in a case, the two became good friends.

 5 Marcia Clark

Marcia Clark.
6
Famous As: Lawyer, Author, TV Correspondent
Birthdate: August 31, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Alameda, California

Marcia Clark is best known as the lead prosecutor of the O.J. Simpson murder trial. She has also written several books, including novels from the Rachel Knight series and the Samantha Brinkman series and a non-fiction about the Simpson case. She has also written crime articles for The Daily Beast.

 6 Douglas Emhoff

Douglas Emhoff.
6
Famous As: Lawyer, Husband of Kamala Harris
Birthdate: 1964 AD
Birthplace: New York
A litigator and strategic advisor, Douglas Emhoff has years of experience behind him and is currently a partner at the prominent DLA Piper Law Firm with specialty in entertainment and intellectual property law. Husband of 2020 US vice presidential candidate, Kamala Harris, he is highly supportive of his wife’s political career.

 7 Antonin Scalia

Antonin Scalia.
6
Birthdate: March 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Trenton
Died: February 13, 2016

Scalia played an important role as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court for 30 years. Not only was he regarded as one of the most important justices in the history of the court, but he was also considered one of the most influential jurists of the 20th century. He was posthumously honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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 8 Bob Dole

Bob Dole.
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer
Birthdate: July 22, 1923
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Russell

Bob Dole is an American retired politician who remains active in public life. Before commencing his political career, Dole served in the United States Army during World War II. For his service in the army and later as a politician, Bob Dole has been honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Presidential Citizens Medal.

 9 Sandra Day O’Connor

Sandra Day O’Connor.
4
Famous As: Former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
Birthdate: March 26, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: El Paso, Texas, United States

Sandra Day O’Connor is a retired attorney who became the first woman to serve as the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the US when she took office in 1981. While serving as the associate justice, O’Connor was considered one of the most powerful women in the world. In 2009, she was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom

 10 Valerie Jarrett

Valerie Jarrett.
5
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 14, 1956
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Shiraz
Valerie Jarrett served as the senior advisor to former president Barack Obama and the director of the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs from 2009 to 2017. She had previously served Mayor Richard Daley as his deputy chief of staff and had hired Michelle Obama, then-fiancée of Obama.

 11 Jeanine Pirro

Jeanine Pirro.
8
Famous As: TV Personality
Birthdate: June 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Elmira, New York

Jeanine Pirro is an American TV host and author. Over the years, she has made important contributions to The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, a syndicated morning talk show. As a former prosecutor and New York State judge, Jeanine Pirro played an important role in several cases involving crimes against the elderly and domestic abuse.

 12 Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions.
8
Famous As: Attorney General of the United States
Birthdate: December 24, 1946
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Selma, Alabama

Jeff Sessions is an American lawyer and politician. An important member of the Republican Party, Sessions was the 84th US Attorney General, serving under President Donald Trump's administration. Throughout his political career, Jeff Sessions has played important roles, such as co-sponsoring the bill to award the prestigious Congressional Gold Medal to civil rights movement activist Rosa Parks.

 13 Max Weber

Max Weber.
4
Famous As: Sociologist
Birthdate: April 21, 1864
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: June 14, 1920

Max Weber was a German historian, political economist, jurist, and sociologist. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important theorists, Weber's ideas had a profound influence on social research and social theory. Although he did not see himself as a sociologist, Weber is often counted among the fathers of sociology alongside Émile Durkheim, Auguste Comte, and Karl Marx.

 14 Maya Harris

Maya Harris.
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Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: January 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Statistical Area

A lawyer, law professor, political analyst and a civil rights activist, Maya Harris’s list of achievements is huge. One of the youngest in the US to become a law school dean, Maya Harris has worked with Hillary Clinton and her own sister Kamala Harris in their respective presidential campaigns.

 15 Dmitry Medvedev

Dmitry Medvedev
4
Famous As: Jurist, Politician, Photographer, Blogger, Lawyer, Actor, Businessperson
Birthdate: September 14, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg

Dmitry Medvedev, the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council, has also been the prime minister and president of Russia. Born to teacher parents, he was an intelligent child and began studying his father’s encyclopedia in third grade. He is known for his support of the nuclear disarmament treaty.

 16 Gary Hart

Gary Hart
9
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 28, 1936
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ottawa, Kansas, United States

 17 Geraldo Rivera

Geraldo Rivera.
7
Famous As: Journalist
Birthdate: July 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn
Journalist and TV personality Geraldo Rivera is best known for hosting the talk show Geraldo. He has also been part of the TV special The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults and the shows Geraldo at Large, Geraldo Rivera Reports, and The Five. He has authored several books, such as Willowbrook.

 18 Greta Van Susteren

Greta Van Susteren.
7
Famous As: News Anchor
Birthdate: June 11, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Appleton, Wisconsin, USA

Lawyer Greta Van Susteren gained fame as an anchor for CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News. She is best known for her 14-year stint on Fox News's On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren and for MSNBC’s For the Record with Greta. She was named one of Forbes's most powerful women.

 19 David Boies

David Boies
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: March 11, 1941
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marengo

 20 Thomas Girardi

Thomas Girardi.
6
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: June 3, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado

Thomas Girardi is an attorney. He is credited with co-founding the Los Angeles-based law firm, Girardi & Keese, which is famous for representing plaintiffs against well-known corporations; the firm's case against Pacific Gas & Electric inspired the 2000 legal drama film, Erin Brockovich. Girardi has also appeared in the popular television series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

 21 Janet Reno

Janet Reno.
5
Famous As: 78th Attorney General of the United States
Birthdate: July 21, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Died: November 7, 2016

Janet Reno was an American lawyer. From 1993 to 2001, Reno served as the United States attorney general (AG) after she was nominated by President Bill Clinton. Not only was she the first woman to serve as the US attorney general, but Janet Reno was also the second-longest serving AG in the history of the United States.

 22 Phyllis Schlafly

Phyllis Schlafly
6
Famous As: Radio personality, Lawyer, Political activist, Journalist
Birthdate: August 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: St. Louis
Died: September 5, 2016

American attorney and author Phyllis Schlafly was a major figure of paleoconservativism and was against feminism, LGBT rights, and abortion. She was also behind the STOP ERA campaign against the Equal Rights Amendment, and her life and times were portrayed in the series Mrs. America, which had Cate Blanchett playing her.

 23 Bobby Jones

Bobby Jones
4
Famous As: Golfer
Birthdate: March 17, 1902
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: United States
Died: December 18, 1971

Bobby Jones was an American amateur golfer and lawyer. One of the most important personalities in the history of golf, Jones founded or co-founded the Augusta National Golf Club as well as the Masters Tournament. He also helped design the Augusta. Bobby Jones’ innovations, which he brought to the Masters Tournameny, have been used in professional golf tournaments around the world.

 24 Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Spokesperson, Strategist
Birthdate: December 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New Delhi

BJP member Arun Jaitley had led ministries such as finance, defense, and law and justice. The Indian politician was a skilled lawyer and had been part of cases such as the 2002 Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola case in the Supreme Court. He was awarded a Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

 25 Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
4
Famous As: Independence Activist, Reformer
Birthdate: May 28, 1883
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bhagur
Died: February 26, 1966

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was an Indian politician and independence activist. He formulated the Hindu nationalist philosophy of Hindutva and was a leading figure in the Hindu Mahasabha. He was known for his strong oratory skills and was an eloquent writer. He was initially charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi but was later acquitted.

 26 John Bel Edwards

John Bel Edwards.
4
Famous As: 56th Governor of Louisiana
Birthdate: September 16, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Amite, Louisiana, U.S.

Politician and attorney John Bel Edwards is currently serving as the 56th governor of Louisiana. He is a member of the Democratic Party and has previously served as the Democratic leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives. A United States Army veteran, he once served with the 82nd Airborne Division. He is married and has two daughters.

 27 Michael LeMoyne Kennedy

Michael LeMoyne Kennedy
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 27, 1958
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.
Died: December 31, 1997

 28 John Dean

John Dean.
4
Famous As: Author
Birthdate: October 14, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Akron

 29 Robert Shapiro

Robert Shapiro
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: September 2, 1942
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Plainfield, New Jersey, United States

 30 Fred Phelps

Fred Phelps
4
Famous As: Lawyer, Pastor, Journalist
Birthdate: November 13, 1929
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Meridian
Died: March 19, 2014

 31 Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson.
4
Famous As: Former United States Senator
Birthdate: September 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Miami, Florida

 32 Gesine Bullock-Prado

Gesine Bullock-Prado
4
Famous As: Chef, Lawyer
Birthdate: March 6, 1970
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

 33 Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell
4
Famous As: 19th Prime Minister of Canada
Birthdate: March 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Port Alberni

Canadian politician and Progressive Conservative leader Kim Campbell made headlines when she became the first woman to serve as the prime minister of Canada and remains the only woman to have achieved the feat. After quitting her doctoral studies, she studied law and joined the British Columbia Bar.

 34 Marilyn Milian

Marilyn Milian.
6
Famous As: Judge
Birthdate: May 1, 1961
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Astoria, New York City, New York

 35 Jean Chrétien

Jean Chrétien.
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Diplomat
Birthdate: January 11, 1934
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
Jean Chrétien was the Canadian prime minister from 1993 to 2003. He has previously served in cabinet posts such as the minister of justice and the minister of finance. He has led the Liberal Party of Canada and helped in the passage of the Clarity Act.

 36 Ben Stein

Ben Stein.
6
Famous As: Writer, Actor, Lawyer
Birthdate: November 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Ben Stein initially worked as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. He then plunged into the entertainment world, starring in films such as Ferris Bueller's Day Off and hosting shows such as Win Ben Stein's Money. He also appeared as Arthur Neuman in The Mask franchise.

 37 Alexander Kerensky

Alexander Kerensky.
4
Famous As: Political Leader
Birthdate: April 22, 1881
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ulyanovsk, Russia
Died: June 11, 1970

Alexander Kerensky was a Russian revolutionary and lawyer who played a major role in the Russian Revolution of 1917. Alexander Kerensky is often portrayed in films and TV series. In the 1971 epic historical drama film Nicholas and Alexandra, he was played by John McEnery. In the 2019 series The Last Czars, he was portrayed by Kestutis Cicenas.

 38 G. Gordon Liddy

G. Gordon Liddy
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: November 30, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, USA

 39 Michael Bennett

Michael Bennett
4
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: November 28, 1964
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Delhi, India

 40 Jeff Cohen

Jeff Cohen.
4
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: June 25, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California

 41 Lawrence Lessig

Lawrence Lessig
4
Famous As: Jurist, Activist, Lawyer, Non-fiction writer, Computer scientist, Politician, Professor
Birthdate: June 3, 1961
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Rapid City

Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig established Creative Commons, a non-profit geared at reducing copyright restrictions, thus helping artists and creative professional share their works legally. A Democrat, he also co-founded Rootstrikers, aimed at combating corruption in Congress. He is also a TED speaker and has penned books such as Lesterland.

 42 Miriam Defensor Santiago

Miriam Defensor Santiago
4
Famous As: Judge, Journalist, Lawyer
Birthdate: June 15, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Iloilo City
Died: September 29, 2016

 43 Kurt Georg Kiesinger

Kurt Georg Kiesinger
4
Famous As: Politician, Lawyer, Judge
Birthdate: April 6, 1904
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Ebingen
Died: March 9, 1988

Kurt Georg Kiesinger was a German politician. Nicknamed Silver Tongue, Kiesinger is best remembered for his outstanding skills as a mediator and orator. While serving as Baden-Württemberg's Minister President, Kiesinger founded the universities of Ulm and Konstanz. He is also credited with writing several books and poetry.

 44 Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa.
4
Famous As: President of Sri Lanka
Birthdate: November 18, 1945
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weeraketiya
The highlight of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s political career as the Sri Lankan president was ending the 30-year-old civil war with the Tamil Tigers. The Freedom Party member lost the 2015 election but came back to power as the leader of the Sri Lanka People's Front, becoming the country’s prime minister. 

 45 William O. Douglas

William O. Douglas.
6
Famous As: Former Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court
Birthdate: October 16, 1898
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Minnesota, United States
Died: January 19, 1980

 46 Robin Sharma

Robin Sharma.
4
Famous As: Writer, Public Speaker
Birthdate: June 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port Hawkesbury

Canadian writer Robin Sharma is best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. A qualified lawyer, he is an alumnus of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. He has published several books on stress management and spirituality. He is the founder of the training company Sharma Leadership International.

 47 Max Mosley

Max Mosley
6
Famous As: Racecar driver, Lawyer, Politician, Directeur sportif
Birthdate: April 13, 1940
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: London

 48 Thomas E. Dewey

Thomas E. Dewey.
6
Famous As: Former Governor of New York
Birthdate: March 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Owosso, Michigan, US
Died: March 16, 1971

Thomas E. Dewey was an American politician, prosecutor, and lawyer. A member of the Republican Party, Dewey held the office of the governor of New York between 1943 and 1954. In 1952, Dewey played a major role in helping Dwight D. Eisenhower win the presidential election. After retiring from politics, Dewey served as a corporate lawyer from 1955 to 1971.

 49 Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan.
3
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: February 21, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Houston
Died: January 17, 1996

 50 Mariano Rajoy

Mariano Rajoy.
4
Famous As: Former Prime Minister of Spain
Birthdate: March 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Santiago de Compostela

Former Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy is a qualified lawyer and had stepped into politics at the tender age of 26. Under his leadership, the People’s Party shifted from being staunchly right to center-right. He was eventually ousted by a vote of no-confidence after the Catalan independence crisis.