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The 10 Most Famous Graduates Of Yale Law School

Hillary clinton bill clinton youngThe William J. Clinton Presidential LibraryYalies Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton met in the library.

Yale Law School just nabbed the number two spot on our list of the Best Law Schools in America.
Its 13,000-plus alumni network — which includes several very famous graduates — is a hugely advantageous resource for incoming students.

Three Yalies currently sit on the U.S. Supreme Court and one First Couple met in the law library.

Find out who else bled Yale Blue.

Jane Bolin graduated in 1931 as the first African-American female alum.

Jane Matilda Bolin was the first African-American woman in the U.S. to become a judge. During her 40 years serving as a judge of the Family Court of New York, she was an activist for children's rights and education.

Bolin was one of three women and the only black person in her Yale Law class. She was awarded the Medal of Merit in 1994, and today her portrait hangs in the Law School.

President Gerald Ford coached the football and boxing teams at Yale while attending law school. He graduated in 1941.

Before he became U.S. President in 1973, Gerald Ford was known for another talent: his athletic abilities.

After he graduated from college, he turned down several offers to play professional football and instead opted to coach football and boxing at Yale, in hopes of attending its prestigious law school.

At first Yale Law School did not accept him due to his full-time coaching responsibilities, but they eventually admitted him in 1938. Ford continued to coach while attending law school and three years later, he graduated in the top 25 per cent of his class. He entered politics soon after.

A Phi Delta Phi Fraternity brother, Ford was presented with the Yale Law School Association's Award of Merit in 1979. His portrait hangs in the Law School.

Before attending Yale Law School, Former Associate Supreme Court Justice Byron White played professional football and fought in World War II. He graduated in 1946.

Former Associate Supreme Court Justice Byron White, who was appointed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, graduated from Yale Law School in 1946.

But before his law career took off, White won fame as a professional football halfback, nicknamed the 'Whizzer.' In 1938, he deferred a Rhodes Scholarship for a semester to play with the Pittsburgh Pirates, later called the Steelers. He led the league in rushing and received the National Football League's highest-ever salary, $US15,800.

His football career was cut short when World War II broke out and he enlisted in the Navy. Instead of returning to football after the war, White decided to enter law school, earning the highest grades in his first-year class at Yale Law. He graduated magna cum laude in 1946.

Reverend Pauli Murray became the first African-American to earn a doctorate from Yale Law in 1965.

Dr. Reverend Pauli Murray championed women's and civil rights and co-founded the National Organisation for Women, along with Betty Friedan and others.

After graduating from Howard University at the top of her class, Murray attempted to enroll at Harvard Law but was rejected because of her gender.

Decades later, after publishing papers which Thurgood Marshall called 'the Bible for civil rights lawyers' and contributing to the Brown v. Board of Education decision -- she entered Yale's
Doctor of the Science of Law program.

While writing her dissertation, entitled 'Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy,' she served on the President's Commission on the Status of Women Committee and laid the groundwork for NOW. In 1965, Murray became the
first African-American to earn a doctorate from Yale Law.

Ben Stein graduated in 1970 and says he was voted valedictorian by his classmates.

'Bueller?'

Ben Stein became famous when he played Ferris Bueller's droning instructor in the 1986 film 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.'

In the real world, he's also a lawyer, published author, speech writer for Presidents Nixon and Ford, and law and economics columnist for The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

Even though he says that he 'didn't get the highest grades,' Stein told CNN that 'the students voted on who was to be valedictorian. I was the most popular, so I was elected.'

President Bill Clinton graduated in 1973 and gave the commencement address in 2010.

While attending Yale Law School in 1971, former U.S. President Bill Clinton was studying in the library when he met a fellow law student: Hillary Rodham.

They began dating right away -- she described their meeting as 'an immediate attraction' -- and the couple married just a few years later, in 1975.

Hillary Rodham Clinton also graduated in 1973 and was the Class Day speaker in 2001.

While attending Yale Law School, the former First Lady and U.S. Secretary of State served
on the Board of Editors of Yale Law Review and Social Action, interned with children's advocate Marian Wright Edelman, and met future husband Bill Clinton.

Hillary apparently made the first move when she saw Bill, who claims that she strode up to him in the library and said, 'If you're going to keep staring at me, I might as well introduce myself.'

Rodham Clinton will return for alumni weekend in October to accept the Award of Merit.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas graduated in 1974.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was accepted to Yale Law School because of affirmative action and he has said that he found the experience to be highly stigmatizing.

In his book, 'My Grandfather's Son: A Memoir,' he admitted to placing a 15-cent sticker on his diploma frame to illustrate its worth.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito edited The Yale Law Journal and graduated in 1975.

While studying at Yale, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Samuel Alito served as editor of the Yale Law Review. He graduated in 1975 -- just one year after his fellow Supreme Court judge Clarence Thomas.

Alito returned to Yale in 2007 to sit on the judges' panel for the moot court finals.

Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor also edited The Yale Law Journal and graduated in 1979.

Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- the third woman and first Hispanic person to be appointed to the court -- attended Yale Law School on a scholarship. While there, she served as editor of the Yale Law Journal and managing editor of the student-run publication Yale Studies in World Public Order.

While at Yale, Sotomayor made waves when she filed a complaint against the law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge, after a partner suggested that she was only at Yale because of affirmative action. She won a ruling by a student-faculty tribunal and the firm eventually apologized to her.

Sotomayor graduated with her J.D. in 1979, and this year, she received an honorary degree during Yale's 312th commencement.

BONUS: Batman was a proud Bulldog.

In 2011, an essay series in Yale Alumni Magazine laid out the evidence proving that the Dark Knight bled Yale Blue.

One of the more famous Batman comics, 1974's 'The Night of the Stalker,' was on display during a 2010 exhibit about comics and law at the Yale Law Library. On the final page, Batman is seen in Bruce Wayne's office, where a fuzzy Yale Law School diploma hangs on the wall.

The illustrator, Sal Amendola, told Yale Alumni Magazine:

'I always thought of him as a dual personality. As Bruce Wayne he is a bleeding-heart liberal do-gooder, and as Batman he is a vigilante conservative.' And both are 'so determined to right wrongs and end injustice. I thought Yale was a place someone like that would want to go. He wanted to develop himself as much as possible, physically and mentally. It just all seemed to be logical.'

The Batman TV series that aired in the late '60s, starring Adam West, also supported Yalies' case. In episode 33, a portrait of Wayne's great-grandfather wearing a Yale sweatshirt is shown, and it's revealed that he was the founder of the school's secret society, Skull and Bones.

Watch the clip.

Yale took the number two spot on our list of best law schools. Now see who else made the list.

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