5 Famous Lawyers of All Time and How They Changed the World


It goes without saying that pursuing a career in law is equally challenging and rewarding. Even though it implies years of schooling and preparation, it can be genuinely worthwhile because it allows one to actually change the world – for the better. Lawyers contribute to developing policies and laws that are beneficial to citizens.

That being said, we’d like to introduce you to the top seven lawyers that managed to change the world due to their dedication and devotion to the common good of everyone.

1.    Hugo Grotius (1583 – 1645)

Hugo Grotius is one of the most renowned names when it comes to reputable lawyers. In the early 1600s, this prominent individual comprised a set of laws that altered the way in which countries would relate to one another. Consequently, those laws determined countries to co-exist more peacefully. That was a noteworthy success at the time.

2.   Cesare Beccaria (1738 – 1794)

Before Cesare Beccaria completed the book On Crimes and Punishment, the law was a means through which criminals were brutally punished, as opposed to pursuing their reformation. Nonetheless, through his book, he changed the world’s viewpoints on controversial matters such as the death penalty, torture, and many others.

3.   Charles Hamilton Hudson (1895 – 1950)

Charles Hamilton Hudson was also known as the man who killed Jim Crow. That’s primarily because his role was to fight for the civil rights, being involved in roughly all the cases between 1930 and 1950.

Houston was actually the first lawyer that proved the inequality that separate but equal, which was imposed by the case Missouri ex. Rel. Gaines vs. Canada. He outlined that it was merely unconstitutional for Missouri to prohibit blacks from the state’s law schools. Even though he passed away in 1950, during the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, his strategy and thoughts were revived.

4.   Thurgood Marshall (1908 – 1993)

One of Marshall’s most notable victories is during the case – Murray v. Pearson. Murray, a student whose credentials were excellent wasn’t accepted to study at the University Of Maryland School Of Law, due to his skin color. Consequently, the court decided in the favor of Murray, which lead to ruling out the segregation in the state of Maryland.

5.   Barbara Jordan (1936 – 1996)

Moving on, another lawyer that managed to change the world and its perceptions is Barbara Jordan, an African-American woman that would serve in the Texas state senate. As a matter of fact, she was the very first African-American woman that spoke at an important Democratic National Convention, also repressing the South in Congress.

Her speech in 1974, whose goal was to persuade Americans that Nixon’s impeachment ought to be supported is still considered to be amongst the most influential speeches in history. She co-sponsored and sponsored no less than 300 bills or resolutions, some regarding criminal defense and other equally important matters. Ultimately, she changed the way in which African-American women were perceived in the competitive field of Law.

To sum up, these are only some of the many lawyers that managed to change to world to what we know it today. Although their part is often overlooked or undermined, their work is still there – aiming at making this world better.