Almost There, Kim: 10 Celebrities Who Also Have Law Degrees
As if hit movies, the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the presidency were not enough to show how accomplished these stars are, these celebs also graduated from law school
Before becoming King Leonidas of Sparta, Butler was the president of the law society at the University of Glasgow and graduated with honors in 1992. His grades helped him secure a traineeship at one of Edinburgh’s top law firms, but a week before his traineeship was over, Butler went to watch Trainspotting at the Edinburgh Film Festival and left with a change of heart.
Feeling sad about not being able to pursue his love of acting, Butler went back to work, only to get fired, according to The Times. The blessing in disguise was his opportunity to leave law behind for good and head to London to pursue his dream of becoming an actor.
Prior to his legendary 27-season run as the host of The Jerry Springer Show, Springer earned a law degree from Northwestern University in 1968.
He may have put his degree on the shelf for many years but the king of talk shows has finally found a reason to dust off his old law school books: Springer will star in his own court show called Judge Jerry starting fall 2019, according to Deadline. The daily, half-hour program will be taped in front of a live studio audience and will surely bring the drama.
The world-famous singer loved music from a very early age but his parents had other plans for their son. To please his mom and dad, Bocelli studied law at the University of Pisa and became a court-appointed lawyer after graduating from law school, according to Daily Mail. After giving law a chance, he chose to pursue music, which paid off in massive way. Now, Bocelli can boast that he has both a law degree and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Fans might be surprised to know that Wilson saw herself as either a lawyer or politician before she landed roles in hit movies like the Pitch Perfect franchise and Isn’t It Romantic. The Australian actress graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2009 with a B.A. in theatre and performance studies and a Bachelor of Laws. By then, her mind was set on pursuing law, but after suffering from a bout of malaria on a trip to Africa, she hallucinated that she won an Oscar and knew from then on that acting was it for her, according to USA Today.
The Crazy Rich Asians star credits her law degree from Oxford University for giving her the memorization skills she needed as an actress. “I had to learn about 2,000 cases by heart, so I am fairly good at learning scripts quickly,” Chan told Modern Luxury. Chan turned down a job with the international law firm Slaughter & May to attend acting school at the Drama Centre London, and the rest was history.
The former president’s years at Harvard Law School were the first steps to preparing him for a much bigger role later in life. Obama started his law school journey in 1988 and became the first black Harvard Law Review president in the school’s 104-year history. This major accomplishment paved the way for another monumental first: becoming the first black president of the United States.
The former first lady also attended Harvard Law School in 1988 and once she graduated, she worked at a Chicago law firm, where she met her future husband Barack. Although the Chicago native was on track to remain in law, she quickly embraced and excelled at her future job as first lady of the United States (and now bestselling author).
The British comedian and star of the Monty Python troupe attended law school at Downing College, Cambridge University where, as fate would have it, he met his comedy writing partner Graham Chapman, according to PBS. After graduating with a law degree in 1963, Cleese’s comedy career took off and he decided to follow his heart, which turned out to be a great decision. Cleese's film credits include the Monty Python films, Clockwise and Rat Race.
The Pro Football Hall of Famer earned his law degree at Brigham Young University, where he simultaneously played as the school’s quarterback and broke 13 national college records, according to the school's athletic site. Although he hasn’t pivoted back to law since retiring from football, Young might find his law knowledge helpful now that he’s working to educate players about the brain injury risks involved with playing football.
Clinton earned her law degree from Yale University in 1973 and married her fellow classmate — who ended up becoming the 42nd president of the U.S. — Bill Clinton. A thorough knowledge of the law definitely came in handy when she ran for president in 2008 and 2016.