Times are tough these days for law school graduates, so to be quite frank, we don’t blame you if you’re considering dropping out. Because when some of your post-graduation career options involve document review hell, stocking the shelves at a local retail shop, or performing what’s essentially slave labor to the tune of $10,000, dropping out may be your best bet. But not to worry, because if you were to drop out, you’d be in some pretty good company.
For example, would Gene Kelly have been singing in the rain if had he continued on with his legal studies at Pittsburgh School of Law? Yes, this choreographer extraordinaire and musical jack-of-all-trades attended law school for only two months before he dropped out, and his life was all the better for it.
Who else can be counted among our nation’s most famous law school dropouts?
In addition to Gene Kelly, here’s a short list of ten of the most prominent American law school dropouts:
- Benjamin Cardozo, Supreme Court Justice (Columbia Law School)
- Theodore Roosevelt, President (Columbia Law School)
- Al Gore, Vice President and Nobel Prize Winner (Vanderbilt Law School)
- Paul Simon, Musician (Brooklyn Law School)
- Cole Porter, Composer and Songwriter (Harvard Law School)
- Diane Sawyer, Journalist (Louisville School of Law)
- Harper Lee, Author and Pulitzer Prize Winner (Alabama School of Law)
- Vince Lombardi, Football Coach (Fordham School of Law)
- Demetri Martin, Comedian (NYU School of Law)
- Carly Fiorina, Business Executive (UCLA School of Law)
Where would we be if these people hadn’t dropped out of law school? American culture would surely be a lot less vibrant. Those are just some of the “good guy” dropouts (not to mention the five other U.S. Presidents besides Roosevelt who also dropped out of law school, some of them to pursue their political ambitions).
People tout the value of a law degree by saying you can do just about anything with it. Well, the same goes for law school dropouts — so before you start singing a revised version of Beauty School Dropout, like so…
Law school dropout
No graduation day for you
Law school dropout
No Biglaw bonuses, boohoo!
… just remember that you can do all sorts of things with your future career, such as turning to a life of crime.
What If: The Lawyers They Might Have Been [The Faculty Lounge]
Prominent Law School Rejects [PrawfsBlawg]
Law School Dropouts and Rejects Include Famous Dancer, US President and Supreme Court Justice