Lawyers are considered among the highest paid careers individuals across the globe. According to Celebritynetworth, some countries in other parts of the world pay lawyers the highest amount of money compared to almost all other careers. That said, being a lawyer is the most highly desired job by millions of individuals worldwide. In the United States of America, the income or salary of an attorney is usually determined by the lawyer's specialty. For example, corporate lawyers do not earn the same income as medical lawyers. As of 2022, the richest lawyer in America is Richard Scruggs, with an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion. In this article, we will take a closer look at the 20 Richest Lawyers in America.
20. Vernon Jordan- $15 Million
Vermon Jordan was a highly-respected American attorney with an estimated net worth of $15 million. Jordan was born in Georgia and later enrolled at the Howard University School of Law, where he earned his law degree. He was also an American business executive and civil rights activist in various civil rights movement organizations. In 1990, he became a close advisor to former U.S. president Bill Clinton. He later joined the Law Offices of Donald Hollowell, where he sued the University of Georgia for racial discrimination in its admission of students. Jordan left private law practice in the late 1960s, where he served as the Georgia field director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
19. Lynn Toler- $20 million
Lynn Candace Toler is an American judge, TV personality, and lawyer. She is popularly known as a former TV arbitrator on a courtroom television series, Divorce Court. Lynn served as a municipal judge in Cleveland Heights Municipal Court for about eight years. At age 34, she won her first judicial race as a Republican. In 2002, the Cleveland Domestic Violence Center honored Lynn Toler with The Humanitarian of the Year Award.
18. Mark Geragos- $25 million
Mark Geragos is a prominent civil litigation and criminal defense attorney in Los Angeles. Throughout his many years of practicing law, he has been involved in several high-profile lawsuits, which have significantly helped increase his net worth. For instance, he helped McDougal win her Whitewater case and the class-action case against AXA and New York Life Insurance and secured many settlements on behalf of Armenian for uncompensated life insurance policies issued during the Armenian genocide period. Mark Geragos has also represented many high-profile clients, such as Scott Peterson, Jussie Smollett, Susan McDougal, Colin Kaepernick, Kesha, and Chris Brown.
17. Alan Dershowitz- $25 Million
Alan Dershowitz is a Harvard Law School professor and a highly respected American attorney. Dershowitz was the youngest law professor at Harvard Law School by the age of 28. After retiring in 2013, he continued to practice within his expertise in criminal and constitutional law, working as a frequent political commentator, media contributor, and legal analyst. One of Alan's most high-profile lawsuits was his defense of Brett Kavanaugh, a Supreme Court Nominee, against the rape allegations made by Julie Swetnick before Brett's confirmation. Dershowitz was also present in the former U.S. president, Donald Trump's impeachment trial. While he agreed to join Trump's defense team, he later left the team after having disagreements with other members over their strategy on the case.
15. Thomas Mesereau- $30 Million
Thomas Mesereau is one of the highest-paid attorneys in America. He is well-known for defending celebrities and having many celebrity clients, such as Michael Jackson in 2005 and Mike Tyson, in a rape investigation filed at the District Attorney's Office in San Bernadino County, California, in 2001. Thomas was also involved during the pre-trial proceeding in Robert Blake's case over the murder allegations of his wife, Bonnie Bakely. Due to unprofessional conduct during the proceedings, Mesereau was fined $18,950. Blake lost the case and was sentenced to spend ten months in Los Angeles County Jail.
14. George Conway III- $39 million
George Thomas Conway III is an American activist and attorney. According to getciville, he was considered by the former U.S president Donald Trump for the Solicitor General position of the United States but rejected the consideration. During the 2020 presidential election, George was part of the Lincoln Project, a coalition formed by former Republicans to defeat Trump.
13. Erin Brockovich- $49 Million
Erin Brockovich is a highly respected American attorney, legal clerk, environmental activist, and consumer advocate. She was actively involved in the 1993 case against Pacific Gas & Electric Company that involved groundwater contamination in California. After winning the case, Brockovich became very popular and represented a large number of clients. Apart from her legal career, Erin became a media personality hosting ‘Final Justice’ and ‘Challenge America with Erin Brockovich.’
12. Roy Black- $65 million
Roy Black is an American civil and criminal defense trial lawyer based in Miami. He is best known for his brilliant legal mind and well-delivered and well-prepared arguments in court. He rose to fame in 1991 after acquitting William Kennedy Smith on charges of rape and representing Rush Limbaugh, a radio commentator. Throughout his successful career as a lawyer, Black has represented many clients, particularly high-profile clients such as Justin Bieber, Kelsey Grammer, Jeffrey Epstein, Peter Max, Joe Francis, and William Smith. Roy has been able to amass his wealth during his many years working as a lawyer and his wife's successful career as a reality TV star.
11. Willie E. Gary- $100 million
Willie E. Gary is a well-known American businessman and trial attorney who has amassed a considerable amount of wealth over the years. Gary is better known in the legal world for his amazing work in suing large businesses, such as the $500 million compensation to a client from Mississippi. This is one of the many high-profile cases that have helped Gary achieve a net worth of $100 million. Willie is a renowned philanthropist who helps fund college scholarships for needy children.
10. John Branca- $100 million
According to techiegamers, John Branca is one of the wealthiest American entertainment attorneys in the world. He played a major role in Michael Jackson's Thriller music video and album success. Branca helped finance and produce the project, which led to millions of album sales. Moreover, John Branca has been involved in many other successful music ventures, such as the production of ZZ Top's Eliminator album. He has also achieved wealth from working as a music producer and agent. Branca has presented a long list of the biggest names in rock and roll, such as Aerosmith, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith.
9. Robert Shapiro- $120 Million
Robert Shapiro is a prominent American entrepreneur and lawyer with an estimated net worth of $120 million. He is best known for being on the legal team responsible for acquitting O.J. Simpson from the murders of Ron Goldman and his ex-wife. Shapiro has also represented clients from Rockstar Energy Drinks, Occidental Petroleum, and Johnny Carson. While he can achieve most of his riches through his successful legal career, Robert is a well-known entrepreneur, founding companies such as Shoedazzle, Right Counsel, and LegalZoom. He has also been featured in several movies as a lawyer or himself. In 2015, He was honored with the Best Film Award during the Tenerife International Film Festival.
8. Steuart Walton- $300 million
Steuart Walton is an American entrepreneur, business executive, and lawyer. He graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a degree in Business Administration. Walton also attained his Juris Doctor degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. Steuart worked for a law firm in Chile. Between 2007 and 2010, he also worked as an attorney at Allen & Overy. In 2013, he founded a composite aircraft manufacturer, Game Composites.
7. Judy Sheindlin- $460 million
Judith Susan Sheindlin, also known as Judge Judy, is an American court show arbitrator, TV producer, women's advancement philanthropist, author, media personality, and former Manhattan family court judge. She presided over her court show, Judge Judy, which aired for 25 seasons, making her the longest-serving TV arbitrator. This distinction earned Judge Judy a place in the Guinness World Records, and she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2019.
6. Bill Neukom- $850 million
Bill Neukom is a well-known business executive and attorney with an estimated net worth of $850 million. During his long and successful career in the business world, Neukom has been employed as the lead lawyer for Microsoft Corporation for about 25 years. While working at Microsoft, he skillfully guided the organization through deceitful antitrust and intellectual property lawsuits. He was in charge of managing the firm's active philanthropic tasks and governmental and legal affairs. Between 2007 and 2008, Neukom was appointed to serve as the president of the American Bar Association. Between 2008 to 2011, he was selected as the Chief Executive Officer of the San Francisco Giants, helping the club to win its first World Series Championships.
5. Dan Gilbert- $1 billion
Daniel Gilbert is an American billionaire investor, philanthropist, and businessman, with an estimated net worth of $16 billion. He achieved his bachelor's degree from Michigan State University and earned his real estate agent's license while in law school. Apart from his legal career, Dan Gilbert is the majority owner and co-founder of Rocket Mortgage, founder of Rock Ventures, and owns several sports franchises, such as the Cleveland Monsters, Cleveland Cavaliers, and many others.
4. Joe Jamail Jr- $1.5 Billion
Joseph Dahr Jamail Jr., also known as the 'King of Torts,' was an American billionaire and lawyer. Jamail was born to a Lebanese family and later graduated from St. Thomas High School in Houston, Texas. He was also enrolled at the University of Texas at Austin for one semester before joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943. He received his J.D. in 1953 at the University of Texas School of Law. Joe passed away in December 2015 after health complications related to pneumonia. In 1986, the Joseph D. Jamail Centennial Chair was launched by his university to honor him.
3. Charlie Munger- $1.6 billion
Charles Thomas Munger, born on January 1, 1924, is an American billionaire businessman, investor, and former real estate attorney. Between 1984 to 2011, Munger was appointed as the chairman of Wesco Financial Corporation. He is also the chairman of the Daily Journal Corporation, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, and a director of Costco Wholesale Corporation. Charlie has been able to amass his wealth through his major holdings in other private and public organizations. Charlie Munger began his career as an attorney but later switched to contract work and investment management in the early 1960s. He is also a popular thinker and investor in the financial community. Munger has also written several investing books and lectured in a financial theory course at Harvard University for over two decades.
2. Peter Angelos- $1.7 billion
Peter G. Angelos is an American baseball executive and trial attorney based in Baltimore, Maryland. After graduating from Patterson Park High School, Peter was enrolled at the University of Baltimore, where he earned his bachelor's degree. One of his notable cases was after representing some 8,000 workers in an asbestos poisoning lawsuit that was partially settled in 1992. He also represented Maryland in its lawsuit against tobacco organizations with a 25 percent contingency fee.
1. Richard Scruggs- $1.9 Billion
According to Biglawinvestor, Richard F. Scruggs is the richest lawyer in America as of 2022, with an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion. Richard is, also known as 'Dickie' an American former disbarred trial attorney and naval aviator. Scruggs is the brother-in-law of Trent Lott, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader. He rose to fame after successfully representing the sick shipyard employees to sue the asbestos industry.
He also represented the Mississippi state in the tobacco litigation era of the 1990s. Scruggs represented a national class petition of patients against HMOs and helped hundreds of homeowners file lawsuits against insurance companies after Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, Richard Scruggs's impressive career in law was ruined after his indictment in a judicial bribery scheme in 2007. He was sentenced to six years in federal prison and was released in 2014.
Written by Dana Hanson
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