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7 Lawyers Turned Famous TV Stars
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Anjali Kumar, lawyer and Google food personality. Courtesy of The New York Times.

Earlier this week The New York Times profiled Anjali Kumar, a former lawyer at Google who hosted and produced a Google video series about food called “Lunchtime at Google.” Although she continues to work in the legal field (she is now Warby Parker’s legal counsel), she isn’t the first lawyer to explore the world of television. Here are seven of the most famous lawyers-turned-TV stars:

Harvey Levin, TMZ

  
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Harvey Levin grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara before attending law school at the University of Chicago and practicing law in California from 1975 to 1996. He subsequently gained fame because of his strong performances in public debates. Using his notoriety, he transitioned into entertainment by writing legal columns, contributing to radio shows, and reporting legal stories. In 1996, he deactivated his law license to focus on his entertainment career. He worked on The People’s Court and Celebrity Justice before creating the mega popular, multi-million-dollar celeb tabloid TMZ.

Megyn Kelly, Fox News

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Before Donald Trump made his vile she’s-on-her-period comments, Megyn Kelly was best known for her hit Fox TV show, The Kelly File. She grew up in Syracuse, New York, and earned her J.D. from Albany Law School in 1995. After working as an associate at two law firms in Chicago she switched her career to journalism.

In 2003, Kelly moved to Washington D.C. and began working as a legal recruiter for ABC, where she focused on legal stories. She began contributing segments to Fox and ultimately landed her own show. In 2014, she was named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People.



Nancy Grace, HLN Network

After the murder of her fiancé when she was nineteen, Nancy Grace decided to go to law school. She ended up pursuing her goal of prosecuting criminals and fighting for victims’ rights in Atlanta, Georgia.

As a prosecutor, Grace was reprimanded twice for misconduct that included withholding evidence and making false statements. She ultimately left the prosecutor’s office when the District Attorney decided not to run for reelection. Court TV offered her a job as a legal commenter. She eventually parlayed this into her own legal analysis show on HLN.

Grace’s personality is so distinctive that she has been parodied on Saturday Night Live and in Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster bestseller Gone Girl.

Eddie Huang, Vice, Chef, Creator of Fresh Off The Boat

Eddie Huang was born in Washington, D.C. to Taiwanese immigrants. After college he earned a J.D. from Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University before taking a job as a corporate lawyer. After getting laid off because of the financial crisis of 2007-2008, he moved into new career paths, working as a stand-up comedian, fashion designer, pot dealer, and most famously chef and restauranteur.

Huang’s cooking led him to create a blog and a book called Fresh off the Boat, which was recently adapted into a hit ABC TV show. Before Fresh off the Boat, he hosted shows on the Cooking Channel. He ultimately left the Cooking Channel for his own show on Vice called Huang’s World.

Jerry Springer, Talk Show Host

While Jerry Springer may be best known for having one of the trashiest talk shows of all time, he was also once mayor of Cincinnati, a campaign advisor to Robert F. Kennedy, and a lawyer! Springer earned his undergraduate degree from Tulane and a law degree from Northwestern University. In the 1970s and 1980s, he focused on politics. He later transitioned to journalism when his radio segments became hugely popular. In 1991,  he got his first talk show, The Jerry Springer Show, which ran for 25 seasons.

Gerald Butler, Actor

Movie and TV star, Gerard Butler, may best be known for his hunky body in the film 300, but he has brains too. Butler, who was born in Scotland, studied law at the University of Glasgow. He earned a position as a trainee lawyer at an Edinburgh firm, but the professional lifestyle didn’t suit him. He often missed work for partying. When he was 25, he decided to move to London to become famous. The rest is history.

Ann Coulter, Conservative Correspondent

Conservative correspondent Ann Coulter attended Cornell University before earning her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. For years, she worked in the legal field, and in 1996, she stepped into the media spotlight when she became a legal correspondent on MSNBC. She was dismissed twice from MSNBC because she insulted people, which later became her signature move.

Coulter is known for her polarizing right-wing views. She has turned her personality into a media empire, publishing ten books, amassing a large sum on the speaking circuit, and making TV, radio, and film appearances.



 

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