Lawyers, whilst often well known throughout the legal system, don’t often reach the public eye purely for their work in the legal field. Nevertheless, there are a few who become nationally or internationally famous for other reasons. Many famous political leaders, for example, come to politics via the legal profession. Here are three of history’s most famous (or infamous) lawyers.
Born in India in 1869, the son of a senior civil servant, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi studied law in London. Behind his unassuming exterior was an incredible mind that recognised the injustices back in his homeland and decided to do something about it. He was a gentle soul, but thoroughly charismatic and he successfully employed tactics of non-violent civil disobedience in order to lead India to independence. He was known across India as ‘Mahatma’, which means ‘great soul’ and due to his quiet yet determined manner, Gandhi was certainly one example of the legal profession at its very best.
The name of this historical figure is not well known outside of legal circles, but she paved the way for women lawyers across the world. Arabella Mansfield was the first women lawyer in history, passing the Iowa State Bar with flying colours in 1869. Her admittance to the male-dominated profession gave hope to other women across the world, although it was not until 1922 that Carrie Morrison became the first English woman solicitor. Without these pioneers, Cherie Blair may have found her route into law a great deal harder.
Known as ‘Mr. Loophole’, Nick Freeman is most frequently mentioned in the tabloid press as the man who has helped numerous celebrities and wealthy clients to ‘get away with’ various driving offences. His encyclopaedic knowledge of motoring law has highlighted issues such as incorrect police procedure and evidential discrepancy. Although the man himself admits that he can’t always justify his success morally, he can justify it ethically, as he is obliged to deliver the best possible defence for each of his clients. Famous clients that have benefitted from Mr. Loophole’s expertise are Sir Alex Ferguson, Jimmy Carr and Jeremy Clarkson. Not every case has been successfully defended, however, with Steve McFadden of ‘Eastenders’ fame found guilty of drink driving when he had drunk the equivalent of nine double vodkas. However, Nick Freeman’s expertise probably helped in securing the rather lenient in the circumstances 18-month ban.
Vicky works alongside http://www.thaliwalbridge.co.uk/, an immigration and mental health solicitors firm in Leicester. She loves to combine her love of history and law to write interesting articles.