Just like aspiring dancers look up to famous ballet performers, many law students look up to famous criminal defense lawyers. Whether they want to learn about the different tactics lawyers use or reassure themselves that they’re on the right path, famous and popular criminal attorneys help guide the younger generations. Criminal defense attorneys uphold the idea that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Here are some of the most famous criminal defense attorneys ever to practice law.
When it comes to renowned criminal attorneys, Johnnie Cochran‘s name usually comes to mind. Cochran was the active leader in O.J. Simpson‘s defense during the infamous 1994 murder trial. By the end of the trial, Cochran and the rest of the defense team led O.J. to a successful acquittal of all charges. The case remains popular today, keeping Cochran and the rest of the defense team at the forefront of people’s minds.
Apart from that case, Cochran was also known for representing other celebrities including Michael Jackson, Tupac Shakur, and Rosa Parks, just to name a few. People admired him for his audacity and strong personality. More importantly, he stuck to his own morals and consistently won civil rights and police brutality cases.
Shawn Chapman Holley
After graduating from UCLA and Southwestern University School of Law, Shawn Chapman Holley started her law career as a public defense attorney. Not long after, Johnnie Cochran hired her to help with the O.J. Simpson case.
She is also well known for helping many other celebrities. She has represented or is currently representing celebrities such as Kanye West, Justin Bieber, Lindsay Lohan, Lamar Odom, the Kardashian family, and Michael Jackson. Due to her prominence in a lot of celebrity cases, she was also the chief legal correspondent for E! News and appeared on plenty of day-time TV shows. She demonstrates that starting as a public defense attorney can sometimes lead to fame.
Leslie Abramson started her law career as a public defender. After spending some time in the public office, she opened her own private practice where she was regarded as a “fire-eating, mud-slinging, nuclear strength pain in the legal butt,” according to the Washington Post.
Often considered the most brilliant L.A defense lawyer for death-row cases, she had the ability to significantly reduce a defendants’ charges. Abramson is mainly recognized for her role in the legal defense of Lyle and Erik Menendez, two affluent brothers charged with murdering their parents in the family’s Beverly Hills mansion in 1989. The case was famously made into an NBC TV series called “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders” with actress Edie Falco as Abramson. Although she is now retired, she continues to attend and speak at conferences about what she thinks makes a great criminal defense lawyer.
Famous Criminal Defense Lawyers
All of these famous criminal defense attorneys show how hard work leads to success. It doesn’t matter where you start, as long as you have a passion for proving that people are innocent and for helping those in need.