Celebrities and qualifications don’t exactly go hand in hand. In the world of entertainment, an academic degree is not as important as talent.
You would find many exceptional actors, singers, models, socialites, directors, photographers, or any kind of famous people, in fact, who have never completed their education.
But there are a fair few celebrities who are an exception to the rule, who are overflowing with talent and also have a graduate degree to boot.
Did you know that there are fewer still who possess a degree for one of the toughest subjects to master in academics – law? Many celebrities can usually afford to hire a lawyer, and a good one like a hotshot Hudson County criminal lawyer if they ever get into trouble with the law.
But these 10 celebrities are perfectly capable of defending themselves in court, thanks to their law degrees (the weird part is, you’d never, in your wildest dreams, have pegged them as lawyers!).
Comedy fans will remember John Cleese from Monty Python’s movies as the Deadly Dirk, the Roman Soldier Leader who hunted and crucified Roman haters.
He was a core member of the comedy troupe, starring in all their sketches and films across three decades!
Back in 1963, he graduated with a Cambridge law degree from Downing College, a prestigious institution established in 1800.
Incidentally, while there, he became friends with Graham Chapman, who went on to become a part of the Monty Python troupe.
This English beauty is best known for her prominent roles in Crazy Rich Asians (2018) and Eternals (2021). In her earliest gigs, she portrayed supporting characters in some of the finest TV shows in the world.
Doctor Who (written by Neil Gaiman and Steven Moffat) fans might remember her as Mia Bennett from The Water of Mars special episode.
She also starred in another one of Moffat’s outstanding series, Sherlock (2010) episode, The Blind Banker.
Chan graduated from Worcester College, Oxford, with her law degree but veered toward acting soon after.
The Pitch Perfect movie series star who went on to win several nominations and awards, earned her law degree from the University of New South Wales, where she also completed her Bachelor in Arts.
Rebel Wilson is well known for depicting overweight characters to perfection. Did you know that she has recently managed to lose 80 pounds?
Check her out in Senior Year (2022) where she plays a one-time cheerleader as if she was born for it. Very few actresses in the industry can match her comic timing and screen presence.
Who could have guessed that the suave Scottish actor with ripped abs would have graduated from law school? Certainly not fans of the historical fantasy film 300 (2006)!
While that movie may have earned him his star status, Gerard Butler had played small roles in many other films before.
In fact, in the James Bond flick, Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), he only had a few seconds of screen time and just one short dialogue!
He graduated from the University of Glasgow School of Law and even gained a trainee position in Edinburgh.
But he was never really interested in the job and got fired due to inconsistent attendance. Thereafter, he took up many odd jobs while trying to launch his acting career in London.
This is a special mention for those who were born and brought up in the 1980s.
Jeff Cohen had a prominent role in the all-star movie, The Goonies (1985), alongside the likes of Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, and Sean Astin. Generation X will also remember him from the TV movie, Ask Max (1986).
You would be surprised to know that this skillful child actor has veered away from movies in recent years and has taken up law as an attorney.
He earned a business degree from UC Berkeley in his youth, and later at the turn of the millennium, he graduated in law from the UCLA School of Law.
Sports and law are as far apart as two areas of expertise ever could be, not unlike how apples are to oranges.
So the prolific American former football quarterback’s law degree from Brigham Young University comes as a pleasant surprise.
He was already touted as the next big thing in football by the time he started attending university, and he went on to break several school records while playing for their team.
You might know his game in the San Francisco 49ers, one of the top National Football League (NFL) teams, where he played his best and longest.
The ambitiously flippant Karen Filippelli of The Office (2005) or the emotionally perky Ann Perkins of Parks and Recreation (2009), Rashida Jones hides considerable acting talent behind her girl-next-door facade.
Known for her well-dressed corporate ladder-climbing roles, you won’t find it difficult to imagine her as a lawyer, but only in TV shows and movies.
Did you know that she graduated in law from the prestigious Harvard University? A beauty with brains and talent – now that’s a rare combination!
It is said that she wanted to pursue her law career, but she was put off by the O. J. Simpson murder case, which had come to a head post her graduation.
Another gifted child actor who, like Jeff Cohen, chose to practice law over a promising acting career.
Do you remember the nerdy little best friend of the protagonist, Kevin, from The Wonder Years sitcom? Saviano’s character, Paul Pfeiffer, was adored by all fans of the show.
He initially graduated in political science at Yale University, but after getting a job as a paralegal, he decided to major in law, earning his degree at Yeshiva University.
He quit acting after that, focusing on his law career. But not many know that he made a short comeback on television in 2014 as (guess what!) a lawyer in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.
This blind tenor (singer) is best known for his Golden Globe-winning song, “The Prayer”, in 1998.
Andrea Bocelli’s music has topped both the US and the UK charts over the years, especially in the pop and classical music genres.
He wasn’t born blind but suffered from congenital glaucoma as a child, which eventually led to permanent blindness.
Despite his disability, he earned a law degree from the University of Pisa and achieved fame and fortune in the entertainment industry in the ‘90s.
You might find a familiar face in Megyn Kelly if you used to watch Fox News. After all, she hosted various talk shows on the channel for nearly 13 years.
She was more of a reporter covering almost all kinds of news, so you may find her lawyer’s cap out of place.
Her law degree comes from the Albany Law School (graduation year 1995). She worked at different law firms for over 10 years before establishing herself as a strong media personality.
Here are a few honorable mentions, law degree holders who aren’t with us anymore but were once celebrities in their own right, in fields almost entirely unconnected to law.
They are Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, Washington Irving, Ozzie Nelson, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and Fidel Castro.