Top 10 Richest Attorneys in America 2024

Ever wonder who the richest lawyers in America are? Well, you’re in for a treat! We’re about to dive into the top 10 list of the Richest Attorneys in America for 2024.

These legal superstars have used their brains, skills, and lots of hard work to make huge amounts of money. We’re talking billions in some cases!

Some got rich practicing law, while others used their legal know-how to become business big-shots, sports team owners, and even TV stars.

So grab a seat and let’s count down the richest of the rich when it comes to America’s lawyers.

Top 10 Richest Attorneys in America 2024

Richest Attorneys in America

We’ll look at how they made their money, what kind of law they practiced, and why they’re so wealthy now.

Let’s get started!

How We Ranked the Richest Lawyers?

Before we jump into the list, here’s how we figured out who’s who:

  • We used net worth estimates from well-known wealth trackers.
  • We focused on lawyers who got rich mainly through their legal careers.
  • The list includes top trial lawyers, corporate attorneys, and those involved in big-time lawsuits.
  • Many have worked with famous clients or been part of legendary court cases.

Now, let’s see just how rich America’s top legal minds are!

Top 10 Richest Lawyers In America 2024: Legal Eagles Soaring To Billion-Dollar Heights

10. John Branca: The Rockstar Attorney ($100 million)

John Branca has built his fortune as the go-to lawyer for music industry heavyweights.

Key Facts:

  • Graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1975
  • Represents over 30 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame acts
  • Famous clients include Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones, and Aerosmith
  • Co-manages Michael Jackson’s estate
  • Heads the music department at law firm Ziffren Brittenham LLP

Branca’s success shows how specializing in entertainment law can lead to both fame and fortune.

9. Robert Shapiro: From O.J.’s Lawyer to Legal Entrepreneur ($120 million)

Robert Shapiro gained fame as part of O.J. Simpson’s defense team but has since diversified into legal tech entrepreneurship.

Career Highlights:

  • Graduated from Loyola Law School in 1968
  • Part of the “Dream Team” defending O.J. Simpson
  • Represents many celebrity clients
  • Co-founded LegalZoom, ShoeDazzle, and
  • LegalZoom is his most successful venture, worth over $2 billion

Shapiro’s career demonstrates how lawyers can leverage their fame and skills to build successful businesses.

8. Steuart Walton: Walmart Heir and Lawyer ($300 Million)

Steuart Walton combines his legal background with his family’s retail empire.

Important Details:

  • Grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton
  • On Walmart’s board of directors since 2016
  • Earned his law degree from Georgetown in 2005
  • Worked on mergers and acquisitions for Walmart in London
  • Started his own aircraft manufacturing company
  • Part of the Walton family fortune worth over $240 billion

Walton’s story highlights how legal training can enhance business acumen, even for those born into wealth.

7. Judge Judy: From Court to TV Star ($440 Million)

Judith Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, turned her courtroom experience into a lucrative television career.

Key Points:

  • Earned her law degree from New York Law School in 1965
  • Worked as a lawyer, then as a prosecutor in a New York family court
  • Became a criminal court judge in the 1980s
  • Shot to fame with her “Judge Judy” TV show
  • Now one of the richest self-made women in America

Judge Judy’s success illustrates how legal expertise combined with a strong personality can create a powerful brand.

6. Bill Neukom: Microsoft’s Legal Eagle ($850 Million)

Bill Neukom amassed his wealth as Microsoft’s lead counsel during its formative years.

Quick Facts:

  • Earned his law degree from Stanford in 1967
  • Worked at Microsoft as lead lawyer from 1985 to 2002
  • Handled major issues like protecting Microsoft’s intellectual property and fighting antitrust cases
  • Later became part-owner and CEO of the San Francisco Giants baseball team
  • The Giants won the World Series in 2010 under his leadership
  • Also served as President of the American Bar Association

Neukom’s career shows how being in the right place at the right time in the tech industry can lead to immense wealth.

5. Clive Davis: The Music Man ($850 Million)

Clive Davis leveraged his legal background to become a music industry powerhouse.

Career Highlights:

  • Graduated from Harvard Law in 1956
  • Started working for CBS Records as a lawyer
  • Rose to become President of Columbia Records
  • Later became CEO of RCA Music Group
  • Signed major acts and won 5 Grammy Awards

Davis’s journey proves that legal skills can provide a solid foundation for success in the entertainment world.

4. Joe Jamail: The “King of Torts” ($1.7 Billion)

Joe Jamail, who passed away in 2015, was known as the richest practicing attorney in America.

Career Highlights:

  • Graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1953
  • Won hundreds of verdicts worth over $1 million each
  • The most famous case: Pennzoil vs. Texaco, with a $10.5 billion verdict
  • Nicknamed the “King of Torts” for his success in personal injury law
  • Net worth at death: $1.7 billion

Jamail’s career demonstrates the incredible wealth potential in high-stakes litigation.

3. Jerry Reinsdorf: The Sports Mogul ($2.1 Billion)

Jerry Reinsdorf transformed his legal career into a sports empire.

Key Facts:

  • Finished law school at George Washington University in 1960
  • Started as a real estate tax lawyer
  • Bought the Chicago White Sox in 1981
  • Acquired the Chicago Bulls in 1985
  • The Bulls won 6 NBA titles under his ownership
  • The White Sox won the World Series in 2005

Reinsdorf’s story shows how legal expertise can be a springboard to success in the sports business world.

2. Peter Angelos: The Asbestos Case King ($2 Billion)

Peter Angelos built his fortune by taking on big corporations in mass tort litigation.

Notable Achievements:

  • Graduated from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 1961
  • Known for winning big product liability and mass tort cases
  • Received a $330 million fee from a huge asbestos settlement
  • Earned $150 million representing Maryland against tobacco companies
  • Owns the Baltimore Orioles baseball team

Angelos’s career illustrates how championing the underdog in high-profile cases can lead to substantial wealth.

1. Charlie Munger: From Lawyer to Investing Guru ($2.6 billion)

Charlie Munger tops our list, having parlayed his legal background into an investing empire.

Key Points:

  • Earned a law degree from Harvard
  • Practiced real estate law early in his career
  • Switched to investing and partnered with Warren Buffett
  • Became Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway
  • Owned over $2.2 billion in Berkshire Hathaway stock

Munger’s journey exemplifies how legal training can serve as a foundation for success in other fields, particularly finance and investing.

How These Lawyers Got So Rich?

Looking at our top 10, we can see some common threads in how they built their wealth:

  • Specialization: Most focused on a specific, high-paying area of law.
  • Big Cases: Many won huge settlements that brought in massive fees.
  • Branching Out: Several used their legal fame to start businesses or invest.
  • Being in the Right Place: Some, like Munger and Neukom, joined growing companies early on.
  • Leveraging Fame: Lawyers like Judge Judy and Robert Shapiro turned legal celebrities into new careers.
  • Family Connections: In Steuart Walton’s case, being born into a wealthy family didn’t hurt.

Lessons for Aspiring Lawyers

If you’re dreaming of making it big as a lawyer, here are some tips from our top 10:

  • Find Your Niche: Pick an area of law you’re passionate about and become an expert.
  • Network: Build relationships with clients, other lawyers, and potential business partners.
  • Think Beyond the Courtroom: Look for ways to use your legal skills in business or entertainment.
  • Be Ready for Big Opportunities: Sometimes, one huge case or client can change everything.
  • Keep Learning: The legal world changes fast, so stay on top of new developments.
  • Consider Entrepreneurship: Starting your own firm or legal-related business can lead to big rewards.

The Future of Legal Wealth

As we look ahead, here are some areas that might produce the next generation of super-rich lawyers:

  • Tech Law: With the rise of AI, cybersecurity, and digital privacy issues, tech-savvy lawyers will be in high demand.
  • Climate Change Law: As environmental concerns grow, lawyers specializing in this area could see big opportunities.
  • Healthcare Law: With ongoing debates about healthcare reform, this field is likely to remain hot.
  • International Law: In our global economy, lawyers who can navigate different legal systems will be valuable.
  • Intellectual Property: As innovation continues to drive the economy, protecting ideas will remain crucial.


The stories of Richest Attorneys in America show that there’s no one path to success in law. Some built their fortunes in the courtroom, others in the boardroom, and some on TV screens.

What they all have in common is using their legal training as a foundation for extraordinary success.

Whether you dream of arguing before the Supreme Court, closing big corporate deals, or using your law degree to break into a whole new field, these top 10 prove that the possibilities are endless.

With hard work, smart choices, and maybe a bit of luck, who knows? You might see your name on a future version of this list!

Remember, while the big money is exciting, the most successful lawyers are often those who truly love the law and use their skills to make a difference.

So find your passion, work hard, and who knows where your legal journey might take you!

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