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From Lawyer to Lights…..

From Lawyer to Lights – Second-guessing your career choice? You’re not alone. Even people who put themselves through many extra years of schooling sometimes end up changing their minds. That’s the case with many of these people, who ditched their law degrees in favour of other pursuits moving from Lawyer to the bright lights of stage and screen. Some have made the move and become famous for other reasons – quite successful ones at that.

John Cleese – A bright spark who completed a law degree before deciding to pursue an alternative path is veteran actor and comedian The Monty Python and Fawlty Towers star studied law at Cambridge University’s Downing College, graduating with a 2:1. But it was the influence of the Cambridge Footlights rather than his law lecturers that had most effect on Cleese, who never looked back after a successful performance at the Edinburgh Fringe festival led to mainstream success.

Bob Mortimer – The comedian best known for his ‘Vic and Bob’ double act with Vic Reeves, is another former solicitor. Having completed a law degree at Sussex University, which he followed up with an LL.M in welfare law from Leicester University, Mortimer joined the legal team of Southwark Council. During this time, Mortimer began attending ‘Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out’ as a regular audience member, got introduced to Reeves, and somehow began working with him as a writing partner. The rest is history.

Julio Iglesias – The Spanish singer and songwriter was studying law in Madrid in the 1960’s when he was injured in a road accident. During his convalescence, Iglesias was given a guitar, from which point he went on to become one of the best selling artists of all time.

Other lawyers who went celebrity / famous status:

John Grisham – American lawyer turned author, politician, and best known for his popular legal thrillers.

Nelson Mandela – Studied law and South African Politician and served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

Fidel Castro – politician and revolutionary who served as Prime Minister between 1959 to 1976, and President of Cuba from 1976 to 2008.

Barrack and Michelle Obama – The President and First Lady of the USA both studied law.

Gandhi – In 1888 Gandhi travelled to London from India to study Law with the intention of becoming a Barrister. In 1891 he was called to the bar and then left London to return to India. He initially ended up moving to South Africa to practice law.

Gerard Butler – Scottish actor who has appeared on film, stage and television. He is a trained lawyer but turned to acting in the mid-1990s and has appeared in various films and min-series.

Clive Anderson – is an English television and radio presenter, comedy writer and former Barrister. Winner of a British Comedy Award in 1991 he began experimenting with comedy and writing comedic scripts during his 15-year law career.

The direction of traffic between the legal and celebrity world is by no means one way. Some celebs are even ditching the lime light and returning to their first love – law! Others have chosen law as their career and by falling in love have moved to celebrity status – Mrs Amal Ramzi Alamuddin Clooney!!

Dave Rowntree – the name may not be infamous but he was the drummer in the band Blur, who has gone on to qualify as a Solicitor. Rowntree’s interest in the law began after he got involved in Blur’s contract negotiations in the early days of the band. He was to follow this up, years later, with some work experience at a niche entertainment law firm, before completing a stint as a paralegal at criminal legal aid. Wowed by a murder trial he sat through while there, Rowntree went on to study law at the Open University – before securing a training contract at top London law firm.

Judge Jules – This ex-Radio 1 DJ is now an entertainment lawyer having stepped down from the Radio 1 show he hosted for 14 years. Jules (real name Julius O’Riordan) had a legal background to call upon to help him with his career change as the DJ studied law twenty years ago as an undergraduate at the London School of Economics. During this time, Jules got into music by DJ-ing at parties – earning his “Judge Jules” nickname, which was a reference to his area of study.

If you are looking to move out of your current career and focus on a career in law, The University of Law website http://www.law.ac.uk/ may be a good starting point for you. But if you are famous or a celebrity and looking for a job in law or even if you liked to stay in the industry before making your way into celebville then please call Law Consultants on 01279 464455 and we can help you with your career. Go onto our website and look at our current jobs


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