Famous people with law degrees
12th July 2016
Law degrees are a lot of hard work, but once qualified, graduates can not only become successful lawyers, but they can enjoy other fascinating careers.
This is demonstrated by the number of celebrities who own a law degree and, instead of going into a legal or lawyer job, have since enjoyed huge success in another field.
Here we take you through some famous people and celebrities from across the world who have law degrees.
“Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!”, as he is now welcomed wherever he goes, actually earned a law degree at the Northwestern University in the U.S. and went on to work on the presidential campaign for Robert F. Kennedy.
After having a successful career in politics, which culminated in him becoming mayor of Cincinnati in 1977, he later became a broadcast journalist and as they say the rest is history!
According to IMDB, Gerard Butler, who was born in Paisley, Scotland, attended Glasgow University and studied law.
Butler was also president of the school’s law society and then went on to become a trainee lawyer at an Edinburgh law firm, but the Scotsman got fired a week before fully qualifying.
However, he is now a Hollywood superstar and has acted in successful movies such as 300, How to Train Your Dragon, Olympus Has Fallen, RocknRolla and Law Abiding Citizen.
Regarded as one of the funniest men in the history of comedy, John Cleese is famed for co-founding Monty Python and for starring in a number of other comedies and movies.
Cleese actually studied law at the University of Cambridge, but it was his time with the amateur theatrical club Cambridge Footlights that formed the foundations of his future career.
After meeting his writing partner Graham Chapman at school, John Cleese didn’t end up practicing to become a lawyer.
According to a piece on Mental Floss, Nelson Mandela was part of the first black law partnership in South Africa and the office Mandela and partner Oliver Tambo shared in Johannesburg is being renovated into a museum.
Nelson Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa and served from 1994-1999. He played a major role in bringing down the apartheid and the institutionalised racism that engulfed the country.
Mandela died aged 95 on 5 December 2013.
Another president that had a background in law was Fidel Castro. He studied law at the University of Havana and following many rebellions and later a revolution, Castro became President of Cuba.
He was President of Cuba until 2008 and was famed for overthrowing former dictator General Fulgencio Batista and for nearly causing a nuclear war after Castro agreed to place nuclear missiles from the Soviet Union in Cuba, although later an agreement was made which saw the missiles removed.
Regarded as one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth, Mahatma Gandhi actually studied law in the UK at University College London.
An article on the Complete University Guide reveals that Gandhi did in fact pass the bar and began practicing law back in India.
Following several years working in a legal job he became involved in civil rights movements and was the figurehead in India becoming independent.
He studied law at the University of Pisa and earnt some money on the side by singing at piano bars.
After graduating in the 1980s and working within law for a year, Bocelli decided he belonged within the world of music and he is now one of the most famous opera singers in the world.
A hugely talented and renowned artist, Matisse actually studied law in Paris in 1887 and went on to become a court administrator.
After falling ill with appendicitis, his mother gave him a painting set to help him during his recovery, and from that moment on he decided he wanted to become an artist.
It worked out to be a good decision as now his work is displayed all over the world, including at The State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg and the Musée National d’Art Modern in Paris.
The current West Ham United manager and former professional footballer is not just known for his footballing ability and great management.
The Croatian is actually a fully qualified lawyer and has a master’s degree in law. The Croat can also speak several languages and play the guitar.
The famous actress and comedian actually studied law at the University of New South Wales and this experience has helped her during her acting career.
She apparently negotiated her own contracts at the beginning of her career. Now Rebel Wilson has starred in films such as Bridesmaids and Pitch Perfect.