Most lawyers believe they can change the world by doing the right thing. Here are five notable examples of the ones who made a difference:
1.Marcus Tullius Cicero
Considered one of Rome’s greatest orators and prose stylists, Cicero was a Roman statesman, lawyer, and philosopher, among others. As a lawyer, he handled and won risky cases.
While he was a good lawyer, Cicero placed more importance on his political career. He suppressed a revolt by outside forces to overthrow the government. He also championed the return to the traditional republican government.
2. Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson was the 28th president of the United States who served from 1913 to 1921. Before that, he was the president of Princeton University and the governor of New Jersey.
As a lawyer, Wilson founded the League of Nations, a multinational organization to ensure world peace following the deaths of millions during World War I. He delivered the Treaty of Versailles to the Senate in 1919. This was an important peace treaty that ended WWI. For this, Wilson received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1920.
3. Johnnie Lee Cochran, Jr.
This civil activist was skilled in the courtroom. He is known for leading the defence and criminal acquittal of the former football player and actor O.J. Simpson. Cochran defended victims of police brutality and had several high-profile clients. These included Michael Jackson, Sean Combs, Jim Brown, Snoop Dogg, and Tupac Shakur. He believed he could make a difference by practising law and use it to change society.
4. Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan is the fourth woman to become a member of the Supreme Court of the United States. She currently serves as an associate justice there. She studied at Princeton University, the University of Oxford, and Harvard Law School. She entered the latter at 23. During her first semester there, Kagan got low grades. But she later got an A in 17 of the 21 courses there. In 2001, she became a full professor at Harvard and was named dean of the Law School in 2003.
5. Shirin Ebadi
This former judge, lawyer, and human rights activist founded the Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran. She is known for her pioneering efforts in promoting democracy and the rights of refugees, women, and children. For that, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003.
Ebadi is known for her pro bono cases. She has defended dissident figures who have run afoul of the judiciary. She has also handled different child abuse cases.
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