The Most Famous Lawyers in the History of the United States

For many people, inspiration is a necessary part of living. It is often next to impossible to even consider some ideas, let alone start turning them into goals and actually reaching those goals.

Inspiration is often what comes from the deeds of others, who are prominent in their field of work. They may or may not be charismatic, but their own stories often inspire the rest of us to become better and work harder.

Lawyers are just like the rest of us, people who turn to their own heroes to find inspiration and continue their path, or start a new one completely.

Following are the most famous lawyers in the United States’ history.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln is a man who is well-known in the history of the United States, often being placed as the number one president on many top president lists. He was notable for many things, from abolishing slavery in the United States to preserving the Union when it was going through rough times. What many people overlook, is that he was a very successful lawyer.

Lincoln earned the nickname of Honest Abe while working cases in the Illinois Supreme Court. He appeared before the court 175 times, of which 51 were as a sole counsel. Furthermore, 32 of these cases were judged in his favor.

There was a remarkable case in which he was the defending attorney, the case of William Duff Armstrong, who was accused of murdering James Preston Metzker. There were witnesses claiming that they saw the accused in the act of murder because there was enough moonlight in the sky. Lincoln used an almanac, actually, a Farmers’ Almanac, in print since 1811, to show that the moon was too low and that there was not enough light. He also brought a doctor and various other witnesses to support his case. He won the case and Armstrong was set free.

It is impressive and inspiring that one of the United States’ greatest presidents and citizens was also a remarkable lawyer.

Clarence Darrow

Clarence Darrow was not a president, but he was a lawyer and a very good one at that. He was a lawyer for most of his life and was renowned for many cases. He worked for a lot of high-profile clients in the 20th century. He is often remembered for two cases, Leopold and Loeb and the Scopes trial.

The former was a case where two young men, Nathan Leopold, and Richard Loeb were accused of murdering Bobby Franks, who was 14 at the time of his death. They were to be sentenced to hanging, yet Darrow had a long speech, his famous closing speech. He made the sentence less severe by proving that his clients were mentally diseased. His success propelled him upwards, while Leopold and Loeb got a life sentence plus 99 years in prison. Loeb was murdered at the age of 30, and Leopold was released from prison after serving a sentence of 33 years.

Clarence Darrow was immortalized for that case, often referred to as the crime of the century.

Joe Jamail

Joe Jamail was the richest attorney in the United States. At his highest point, he was the 373rd richest person in the United States. His famous case was that of Pennzoil against Texaco, both two oil companies. He won the case in favor of Pennzoil, earning himself a 330 million dollars while Pennzoil got 10.5 billion dollars. That was just one of his high-profile cases, as in 2014, his net worth was 1,7 billion dollars. He was not just a very successful lawyer, but a philanthropist, donating to universities and schools frequently.