I started this blog to prove that lawyers are not necessarily these serious, boring, and uptight individuals who screw people for a living. In my previous article entitled “The Trendy Trial Lawyer”, I mentioned that there are numerous fun, hip and trendy people out there with law degrees. In fact, you’d be surprised to find out that there are some celebrities out there that you didn’t know were lawyers. Here are eight of them:
This famous actor (well known for his role as Leonidas in the movie 300) graduated law from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. He was a brilliant law student and graduated with honors. He was likewise the President the law society in that University. He started his legal practice at one of Edinburgh’s top law firms. After attending a local film festival, however, he realized that he wanted to be an actor more than he wanted to practice law. Imagine if he continued his law career and ended up as a trial lawyer: “OBJECTION, YOUR HONOR!!! THIS IS SPARTA!!
He is one of the most famous operatic tenors today. He became blind at the age of 12 due to an accident. But that did not stop him from becoming a lawyer. He went to law school at the University of Pisa in Italy. To finance his studies, he performed at local music bars. After graduation, he practiced as a court-appointed lawyer for about a year. Then, he realized that his passion was in singing. So, try to ask him to draft you a contract. He would probably do it for you for a song — literally!!!
Okay, this one is not that surprising. Although John Grisham is more famous as a writer, one could probably guess that he is a lawyer. 99% of his books are about lawyers and legal cases (e.g. A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief, The Partner, The Firm, etc.). What is not obvious, however, is that, aside from being a lawyer, he was also elected as a Congressman. He represented the 7th District of Mississippi in the U.S. House of Representatives. As a trial lawyer, he witnessed controversial rape case involving a little girl. There, he found the inspiration to write his first novel, “A Time to Kill”. After his second book, “The Firm”, he totally gave up his legal practice and concentrated in writing legal novels. Who wouldn’t, right?
Now this is a surprise. Who would have thought that the notorious host of the Jerry Springer Show is actually a lawyer? For those who do not know him, Jerry Springer runs this controversial talk show where he usually interviews two people who hate each other’s guts. An example of this would be a wife and her husband’s mistress. The interview would usually end up in a terrible brawl between the two. Jerry Springer studied law in Northwestern University. In fact, he was the political campaign adviser of Robert F. Kennedy. He also worked for a law firm in Cincinnati. While he was a practicing lawyer, he was also a news commentator for a certain law-based radio program. That was where he started his show biz career. His knack for controversial issues paved the way for his rise as a controversial TV personality. Come to think of it, Jerry Springer presently makes a living out of people’s misery. He cajoles people into fighting each other. I guess his present career isn’t far off from the legal profession after all.
A talk show host most especially famous for the show TMZ, Harvey Levin finished law in the University of Chicago. He practiced in California for more than 20 years. Then, he moved to New York and became a legal reporter. He later on created the entertainment show TMZ and made himself its host. Now, he and his associates chase celebrities and high profile personalities, in the hope of catching them doing something stupid. He probably did a lot of ambulance chasing back in his lawyer days.
Remember the 90s alternative rock band “Blind Melon”? They are most remembered for their song “No Rain”. Their lead vocalist, the late Shannon Hoon, sang backup for Guns N’ Roses in the song “Don’t Cry”. Their lead guitarist is Rogers Stevens and he is a lawyer. He, however, took up law after Blind Melon disbanded due to Shannon Hoon’s untimely death. Stevens studied law at the University of Pennsylvania and is now practicing a corporate law. Blind Melon reunited in 2008 with a new lead vocalist. Stevens still occasionally tours with the band while juggling his new career as a corporate lawyer.
In the Philippine rock scene, we have Dicta License, a rap metal band famous for their songs “Mga Sugat” and “Ang Ating Araw“. Their lead vocalist, Pochoy Labog was nominated as the Vocalist of the Year in 2006 at the NU 107 Rock Awards 2006. After Dicta License disbanded, Pochoy Labog formed the group Malay. This guy is not only a lawyer, he is an Atenean lawyer, just like a certain trendy trial lawyer you may know. He finished law school at the Ateneo School of Law and passed the bar thereafter. He is now actively practicing law.
ANNA THERESA LICAROS
This Binibining Pilipinas 2007 winner is also a lawyer. She representated the Philippines in the Miss Universe Beauty Pageant. Anna Theresa Licaros graduated with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law. She is now a practicing lawyer. Who says lawyering isn’t a glamorous career?
As you can see, there are a lot of cool lawyers out there. There is an actor, an opera signer, a writer, talk show hosts, rock stars and a beauty queen. Definitely, I am not the only fun and hip lawyer around.
Photo of Pachoy Labog by Dexter Obsequias