Famous American Lawyers & Judges

The judicial division forms the backbone of any Constitution, thus providing its country the required support for efficient working and functioning. Just like other countries, the United States of America too has a Bar Association that is committed in improving the American judicial system. Lawyers and judges work collectively to secure the common objective of maintaining law and order in the country. They are the true guardians of the legal system and strive to preserve the truth. America has had prominent lawyers and judges who have committedly worked to preserve the authenticity of the judicial system. Be it the conventional approach or the contemporary outlook, each of them in their own small ways has acted as the protector of the powers of the executive branch. While the list of America lawyers and judges is quite expansive and extensive, some worth mentioning include Abraham ‘Abe’ Fortas, Antonin Scalia, Carl Albert, Clarence Thomas, Alex Kozinski, Stepehen Breyer, Warner E Burger, John Roberts, Earl Warren, Thurgood Marshall and so on. In this male-dominated sector, American women lawyers and judges too have made a space for themselves imitating their iconic role models such as Rosalyn Higgins, Deborah Batts, Sandra Day O Connor, Sonia Sotomayor and the like. Read this section to know about the life and works of American Lawyers and Judges.

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

Vote for Your Favourite American Lawyers & Judges

 1 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
(Associate Justice of US Supreme Court)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
18
Birthdate: March 15, 1933
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: September 18, 2020

The first Jewish woman to serve on the US Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a jurist who served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. An advocate for gender equality and women's rights, she spent the majority of her legal career championing these causes. She remained professionally active until her death in 2020.

 2 
Clarence Thomas
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Clarence Thomas
13
Birthdate: June 23, 1948
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Montgomery, Georgia, United States

The second African-American justice to serve on the Supreme Court of America, the appointment of Clarence Thomas in 1991 was controversial. He was accused of sexual harassment by lawyer Anita Hill in public hearings, but was eventually cleared. He is on the conservative side of the court and has been criticised by liberals for opposing issues like gay marriage.

 3 
Rudy Giuliani
(Former Mayor of New York City)

Rudy Giuliani
13
Birthdate: May 28, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: East Flatbush, New York, United States

American politician Rudy Giuliani, who served as the Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001, received major attention and praise for his handling of crisis in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in his city. He was named Time magazine’s Person of the Year in December 2001 for his efforts. However, there have also been allegations of corruption against him.

 4 

Johnnie Cochran
6
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.

 5 
Thurgood Marshall
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1967-1991))

Thurgood Marshall
7
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.

 6 
Ronan Farrow
(Journalist)

Ronan Farrow
5
Birthdate: December 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

American journalist Ronan Farrow played a major role in reporting the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. His work, which was published in The New Yorker, earned the magazine the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. He is also responsible for exposing allegations against personalities like jurist Brett Kavanaugh, media executive Les Moonves, and politician Eric Schneiderman.

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 7 
William Howard Taft
(27th President of the United States)

William Howard Taft
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Died: March 8, 1930

The 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft also served as the tenth Chief Justice of the US; he is the only person in the history of the US to have held both the offices. He had a great impact as chief justice and has been regarded as the greatest US chief justices of all time.

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 8 
Ron DeSantis
(Governor of Florida)

Ron DeSantis
4
Birthdate: September 14, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Jacksonville, Florida, United States

The current governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis became the youngest incumbent governor of a US state at the age of 42. Also an attorney and naval officer, Ron DeSantis was honored with the Bronze Star Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for his military service.

 9 
Antonin Scalia
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1986-2016))

Antonin Scalia
7
Birthdate: March 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States
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.

 10 
Robert Mueller
(Director of FBI (2001-2013))

Robert Mueller
4
Birthdate: August 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Republican attorney Robert Mueller served as the sixth and the second-longest-serving FBI director, from 2001 to 2013. He was also the special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. His service in the Vietnam War earned him the Purple Heart Medal and the Bronze Star.

 11 
Douglas Emhoff
(Lawyer, Husband of Kamala Harris)

Douglas Emhoff
7
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.

 12 
Marco Rubio
(United States Senator from Florida (Since 2011))

Marco Rubio
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1971
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, United States

Florida senator Marco Rubio also chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and the Senate Small Business Committee. He was chosen to state the Republican response to Barack Obama's 2013 State of the Union Address. He has immense support from the Republican Tea Party activists and caters mostly to Latin American voters.

 13 
Sonia Sotomayor
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (since 2009))

Sonia Sotomayor
15
Birthdate: June 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Bronx, New York, United States

Sonia Sotomayor, the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of America, entered the record books when in August 2009 she became the first Hispanic and the fourth woman to be appointed to the court. She’s a strong defendant of the rights of accused and has raised her voice against misdemeanors by the police and the prosecutors, and abuses in prisons.

 14 
Neil Gorsuch
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Neil Gorsuch
9
Birthdate: August 29, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
The Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch earlier served as the Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and was also in private practice. He is an adherent of originalism in constitutional interpretation and textualism in statutory interpretation. His landmark judgements include upholding the LGBTQ rights and favouring the Yakama Nation.

 15 
Marcia Clark
(Prosecutor, Writer)

Marcia Clark
6
Birthdate: August 31, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Alameda, California, United States

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.

 16 
Jeanine Pirro
(American Conservative Television Host and A Former New York State Judge)

Jeanine Pirro
8
Birthdate: June 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Elmira, New York, United States

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.

 17 
Abraham Lincoln
(16th President of the United States (1861-1865))

Abraham Lincoln
1
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Larue County, Kentucky, United States
Died: April 15, 1865

A self-educated lawyer, Abraham Lincoln rose from modest background to become one of the greatest presidents of America. The 16th president of the country, who is also known as Honest Abe and the Great Emancipator, played a crucial role in establishing a truly democratic government, abolished slavery, modernised economy and led the country during the American Civil War.

 18 
Sandra Day O’Connor
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1981-2006))

Sandra Day O’Connor
4
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

 19 
Martin D. Ginsburg
(Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Husband)

Martin D. Ginsburg
4
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.

 20 
John Roberts
(Chief Justice of the United States (Since 2005))

John Roberts
4
Birthdate: January 27, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

The current chief White House correspondent for the Fox News Channel, John Roberts has, in his journalistic career, worked for various television and radio channels before joining CTV, CBS News and CNN. The notable works of the veteran award winning journalist and Canadian Broadcast Hall of Famer include coverage of Presidential debates, Hurricane Irene, Iraq invasion and the Israel war.

 21 
Elena Kagan
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Since 2010))

Elena Kagan
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Upper West Side, New York, United States

The fourth woman to become part of the Supreme Court of the United States as its member, Elena Kagan was nominated by Barack Obama in 2010 to serve as an Associate Justice of the Court. She played a major role in the Cooper v. Harris case by writing the majority opinion of the case.

 22 
Joe Kennedy III
(Politician)

Joe Kennedy III
4
Birthdate: October 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brighton, Massachusetts, United States

 23 
Chester A. Arthur
(21st President of the United States)

Chester A. Arthur
4
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont, United States
Died: November 18, 1886
Chester A. Arthur became the 21st president of the U.S. in 1881, after the assassination of President James A. Garfield, and served till 1885. Arthur represented Elizabeth Jennings Graham in the 1854 case against segregation in streetcars. He signed the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act and rebuilt the U.S. Navy.

 24 
Stephen Breyer
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Stephen Breyer
6
Birthdate: August 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Stephen Breyer is an American lawyer, legal scholar, and jurist. Since August 1994, Breyer has been serving as an associate justice of the US Supreme Court after being nominated by President Bill Clinton in May 1994. He is also credited with writing several influential textbooks while working as a lecturer and law professor at Harvard Law School in the 1960s. 

 25 
James Monroe
(5th President of the United States)

James Monroe
5
Birthdate: April 28, 1758
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Monroe Hall, Virginia, United States
Died: July 4, 1831

James Monroe, a Founding Father of the U.S., served as the American president from 1817 to 1825. He opposed European colonialism and issued the Monroe Doctrine. He had also been a U.S. secretary of state, the Virginia governor, a U.S. Senate member, and the American ambassador to Britain and France.

 26 
Anthony Kennedy
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Anthony Kennedy
6
Birthdate: July 23, 1936
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Anthony Kennedy has served as the judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 1975 to 1988 and as the associate justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S. from 1988 to 2018. Kennedy has been associated with Boumediene v. Bush and various gay rights cases.

 27 
Kirsten Gillibrand
(Member of the United States Senate)

Kirsten Gillibrand
5
Birthdate: December 9, 1966
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Albany, New York, United States

Lawyer and politician Kirsten Gillibrand is a member of the Democratic Party. Since 2009, she has served as the junior United States Senator from New York. An alumnus of the UCLA School of Law, she practiced law for a few years before entering politics. She is known for speaking against sexual harassment.

 28 

F. Lee Bailey
4
Birthdate: June 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Waltham, Massachusetts, United States
Died: June 3, 2021

 29 

Kirstjen Nielsen
5
Birthdate: May 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.

 30 
Judith Sheindlin
(TV personality)

Judith Sheindlin
12
Birthdate: October 21, 1942
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Judith Sheindlin is a prosecution lawyer, television personality, and author. Since 1996, she has been presiding over her own arbitration reality court show Judge Judy, which has won four Daytime Emmy Awards. The longest-serving judge in the history of the courtroom-themed program, Judith Sheindlin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy for her work.

 31 
Samuel Alito
(Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

Samuel Alito
4
Birthdate: April 1, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Trenton, New Jersey, United States

The current associate justice of the Supreme Court of the US, Samuel Alito is only the second Italian American to serve on the court. Samuel Alito's journey from being an adjunct professor to one of the most powerful men in the American justice system is quite inspirational.

 32 
Maya Harris
(Lawyer, Political scientist, Writer)

Maya Harris
18
Birthdate: January 30, 1967
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, United States

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.

 33 
Savannah Guthrie
(Broadcaster)

Savannah Guthrie
5
Birthdate: December 27, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Melbourne, Australia

NBC News anchor and broadcast journalist Savannah Guthrie is best known for co-anchoring the show Today. She appeared in the series finale of 30 Rock. She has penned two children’s books, too. She is also a practicing lawyer and has worked with domestic abuse victims.

 34 
Mark Levin
(Lawyer)

Mark Levin
6
Birthdate: September 21, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Mark Levin is an American lawyer and radio personality. He hosts popular shows, such as The Mark Levin Show and Life, Liberty & Levin. Since 2015, he has been contributing immensely as the editor-in-chief of the popular American website Conservative Review. Also a well-known author, Mark Levin has written seven New York Times best-selling books.

 35 
Lance Ito
(Judge best known for presiding over the criminal trial for the O. J. Simpson murder case)

Lance Ito
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1950
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 36 
Fred Thompson
(United States Senator from Tennessee (1994-2003))

Fred Thompson
4
Birthdate: August 19, 1942
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sheffield, Alabama, United States
Died: November 1, 2015

Fred Thompson was an American politician, lobbyist, attorney, columnist, radio personality, and actor. From 1994 to 2003, Thompson served as the United States Senator from Tennessee. As an actor, he played important roles in several films and TV series, such as Law & Order and Barbarians at the Gate.

 37 

Bryan Stevenson
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1959
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Milton, Delaware, United States

Lawyer and social justice activist, Bryan Stevenson, is known for challenging bias against the poor and minorities in the criminal justice system. He advocates for the poor, fights for children’s rights, and condemns the death penalty. He is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. He was honored with the Benjamin Franklin Award from the American Philosophical Society.

 38 
William Rehnquist
(Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States)

William Rehnquist
4
Birthdate: October 1, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
Died: September 3, 2005
William Rehnquist had a 33-year career at the U.S. Supreme Court: as an associate justice for 14 years and as a chief justice for 19 years. He had served under Nixon and Ronald Reagan. He presided over Bill Clinton’s impeachment and was associated with cases such as Roe v. Wade.

 39 
Gary Hart
(Politician)

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

 40 

Clarence Darrow
4
Birthdate: April 18, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kinsman Township
Died: March 13, 1938

 41 
Geraldo Rivera
(Host of the Talk Show 'Geraldo' and Famous for the Live TV Special 'The Mystery of Al Capone's Vaults')

Geraldo Rivera
7
Birthdate: July 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
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.

 42 
Sally Yates
(Lawyer)

Sally Yates
5
Birthdate: August 20, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Lawyer Sally Yates has served as a U.S. attorney and the U.S. deputy attorney general. She was also the acting attorney general for 10 days in 2017, until she was dismissed by Donald Trump for refusing to work according to the Executive Order 13769, or the “Muslim ban.” 

 43 
Katie Porter
(Politician)

Katie Porter
6
Birthdate: January 3, 1974
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fort Dodge, Iowa, U.S.

Currently a member of the House of Representative from the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, California, American politician Katie Porter practiced law before taking up teaching as her full time profession. Eventually she won the 2018 election to the House and is now a member of the House Natural Resources Committee and deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

 44 
Earl Warren
(Governor of California (1943-53), Chief Justice of the United States (1953-69))

Earl Warren
6
Birthdate: March 19, 1891
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States
Died: July 9, 1974
Earl Warren served as the chief justice of the U.S. from 1953 to 1969. He was also the California governor from 1943 to 1953. The "Warren Court" revolutionized the American justice system by making landmark judgments, such as making school segregation unconstitutional in the Brown v. Board of Education case.

 45 

Alexander Acosta
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Miami, Florida, U.S.

 46 
John Jay
(1st Chief Justice of the United States (1789-1795))

John Jay
5
Birthdate: December 12, 1745
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: May 17, 1829

One of the Founding Fathers of the United States who signed the famous Paris Treaty, John Jay was best known as the first Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, although he occupied various other important public positions. He was a diplomat, who shaped his country’s foreign policy. He passed legislation to gradually abolish slavery, but he himself owned five enslaved people.

 47 
George P. Bush
(Politician)

George P. Bush
4
Birthdate: April 24, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, U.S.

 48 

Valerie Jarrett
5
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.

 49 
Joe Lieberman
(Politician)

Joe Lieberman
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1942
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Stamford, Connecticut, United States

 50 
Joe Scarborough
(Former United States Representative)

Joe Scarborough
4
Birthdate: April 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Joe Scarborough has represented Florida’s 1st district from 1995 to 2001. He co-hosts Morning Joe on MSNBC, with his wife. He has written several books, hosted a radio show, and also released an EP. Earlier, as an attorney, he had represented Michael F. Griffin, accused of murdering physician David Gunn.