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.

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 1 Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln.
4
Famous As: American President.
Birthdate: February 12, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hodgenville, 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.

 2 Rudy Giuliani

Rudy Giuliani.
11
Famous As: Former Mayor of New York City
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.

 3 Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
17
Famous As: Associate Justice of US Supreme Court
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.

 4 Clarence Thomas

Clarence Thomas.
10
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 5 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.

 6 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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 7 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.
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 8 Ronan Farrow

Ronan Farrow.
4
Famous As: Journalist, Activist, Human Rights Lawyer
Birthdate: December 19, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City

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.

 9 Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller.
4
Famous As: Former Director of FBI, Attorney
Birthdate: August 7, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: New York City, New York
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.

 10 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.

 11 William Howard Taft

William Howard Taft.
4
Famous As: President of the U.S.A
Birthdate: September 15, 1857
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cincinnati
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.

 12 John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams.
4
Famous As: 6th U.S. President
Birthdate: July 11, 1767
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Braintree, Massachusetts, United States
Died: February 23, 1848

The sixth president of the United States of America John Quincy Adams played a key role in shaping America during its formative years. He helped develop the Monroe Doctrine, which eventually became a vital tenet of the U.S. foreign policy. He is also widely regarded as one of the greatest secretaries of state and diplomats in the American history.

 13 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.

 14 James Comey

James Comey.
5
Famous As: Former Director of the FBI
Birthdate: December 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Yonkers, New York, United States
Former U.S. deputy attorney general James Comey was made the FBI director by Barack Obama. However, Donald Trump dismissed Comey in 2017, reportedly due to Trump’s fears regarding the investigations on Russian intervention. Comey has worked with Bridgewater Associates and HSBC Holdings and was a scholar at Columbia Law School

 15 Neil Gorsuch

Neil Gorsuch.
9
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 16 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.

 17 Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor.
14
Famous As: Judge
Birthdate: June 25, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: The 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.

 18 Ron DeSantis

Ron DeSantis.
4
Famous As: Governor of Florida
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.

 19 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.

 20 Jerry Brown

Jerry Brown.
4
Famous As: 34th and 39th Governor of California
Birthdate: April 7, 1938
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Jerry Brown has been both the 34th and the 39th governor of California, from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019, respectively, making him the oldest and the sixth-youngest California governor, between the two terms. He has also been the Oakland mayor, an attorney general, and a secretary of state.

 21 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

 22 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.

 23 Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar.
6
Famous As: Politician
Birthdate: May 25, 1960
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Plymouth, Minnesota, United States
Politician and lawyer Amy Klobuchar became the first elected female U.S. senator from Minnesota in 2007. She has earlier served as the Hennepin County attorney. She contested in the Democratic presidential primaries in 2020, before withdrawing to endorse Joe Biden. She has authored two books and has won numerous awards.

 24 Brett Kavanaugh

Brett Kavanaugh.
8
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Birthdate: February 12, 1965
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Brett Kavanaugh started serving as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the US after being nominated by Donald Trump in 2018. Interestingly, Christine Blasey Ford accused him of sexually abusing her in the 1980s. Three other women also claimed that they were sexually assaulted by Brett, with one woman recanting her accusation later. Brett has denied all the accusations.

 25 Anita Hill

Anita Hill
5
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: July 30, 1956
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Morns, Oklahoma, USA

 26 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.

 27 Joe Kennedy III

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

 28 Elena Kagan

Elena Kagan.
5
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 29 Kirstjen Nielsen

Kirstjen Nielsen
4
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: May 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.

 30 Chester A. Arthur

Chester A. Arthur.
4
Famous As: 21st President of the USA
Birthdate: October 5, 1829
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Fairfield, Vermont
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.

 31 Anthony Kennedy

Anthony Kennedy.
6
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 32 Stephen Breyer

Stephen Breyer.
6
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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. 

 33 Maryanne Trump Barry

Maryanne Trump Barry.
6
Famous As: Attorney
Birthdate: April 5, 1937
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Attorney Maryanne Trump Barry, eldest sister of American president Donald Trump, is a former U.S. federal judge. She was an assistant U.S. attorney earlier and has been a judge of the U.S. District of New Jersey. Bill Clinton appointed her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

 34 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.

 35 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.

 36 Maya Harris

Maya Harris.
18
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.

 37 Trey Gowdy

Trey Gowdy.
6
Famous As: U.S. Representative
Birthdate: August 22, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Greenville, South Carolina, United States
Trey Gowdy, former representative for South Carolina's 4th congressional district, has also been a federal prosecutor and a district attorney. He led the investigations into the Benghazi attack and Hillary Clinton's email server, and has chaired the House Oversight Committee. He now works for Fox News and a legal firm.

 38 F. Lee Bailey

F. Lee Bailey.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
Birthdate: June 10, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Waltham, Massachusetts, United States

 39 Samuel Alito

Samuel Alito.
4
Famous As: Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 40 Lance Ito

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

 41 Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough.
4
Famous As: Former United States Representative
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.

 42 Gary Hart

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

 43 Eric Holder

Eric Holder.
6
Famous As: Former Attorney General of the United States
Birthdate: January 21, 1951
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States

Eric Holder is an American lawyer. In 2008, Legal Times magazine described him as one of the visionaries and named him in its list of the Greatest Washington Lawyers of the Past 30 Years. In 2009, he became the first African American to serve as the Attorney General of the US, a position which he held until 2015. 

 44 Mark Levin

Mark Levin.
6
Famous As: Lawyer
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.

 45 Kirsten Gillibrand

Kirsten Gillibrand.
5
Famous As: Member of the United States Senate
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.

 46 William Rehnquist

William Rehnquist.
4
Famous As: Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
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.

 47 Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson.
4
Famous As: Lawyer
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.

 48 Judith Sheindlin

Judith Sheindlin.
12
Famous As: TV personality
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.

 49 Sally Yates

Sally Yates.
5
Famous As: Lawyer
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.” 

 50 Clarence Darrow

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