Famous Law School Dropouts

Dabney Coleman

Dabney Coleman

Here are 10 additional law school dropouts who eventually made it big and their law schools:

Les Wexner: CEO of Limited Brands (Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, Express, Limited), New York University

Bill Walton: Former NBA Player and Broadcaster, Stanford Law

Max Weinberg: Bruce Springsteen’s Drummer, Yeshiva University

Clarence Darrow:  Attorney (Scopes Monkey Trial), University of Michigan

Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Nobel Prize-Winning Author, National University of Columbia

Harper Lee

Harper Lee

Harper Lee: Author of To Kill a Mockingbird, University of Alabama

Cole Porter: American Songwriter, Harvard Law

Seymour Hersh: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Investigative Journalist (My Lai Massacre), University of Chicago

Dabney Coleman: Actor (9 to 5 and War Games), University of Texas

Ronald Baron: Billionaire Founder of Baron Capital Management, George Washington University

Don’t forget, George W. Bush was rejected by the University of Texas School of Law, which apparently maintained higher academic standards than Harvard Business School.

Don’t Miss: Famous People Who Failed the Bar

Demetri Martin on Law School “Word of the Day”


  • Jeremy Day

    As a career student that dropped out of law school near the end of my first semester, I’d actually say that it was one of the easiest curriculums that I had ever experienced.

    If you do the work, show up, and don’t quit . . . they won’t throw you out. You’re guaranteed to pass. I found my time in a radiology technician school to be much more difficult, time consuming, and stressful due to sheer volume.

    Law has very little to do with rote memorization. It is more about writing a specific way, learning how to research, and applying general principles.

    It was interesting, but law school is like many other schools. The professors didn’t like the divergence of the profession in comparison to the theory. So they returned to law school as professors.

    On a side note, it is quite an obnoxious crowd of people that apply to law school. I imagine it would be quite similar to politics. The two professions do seem to overlap one another greatly.

    Of course, I feel like any college is a mistake except for certain professions and certain personality types. Law school requires a slow, plodding, and consistent effort. That’s all. They aren’t necessarily the most intelligent and gifted people in the world. It’s just a number of them believe this to be true.

    • Not Impressed

      So says they guy who dropped out after the first semester….

      • Jeremy

        I’m not impressed either. At least we can agree on that. Hopefully, you are (or were) a law student, and you now are enjoying the fruits of your labor. By the way, unless you graduated from Harvard, Yale, etc. — you just bought yourself a very expensive piece of paper.

    • SkL

      This is ridiculous. Your school’s curve, the quality of teaching, the undergraduate major you had, and a WIDE variety of other factors determine whether or not you think something is “easy” and even after controlling for those variables, its irrelevant what you FEEL about the work. Its a qualitative and useless way to think about any system at all.

      • Jeremy

        Don’t believe for a moment that schools have curves independent of each other. Because of the competitive nature of various law schools, to create a curve independent or greatly more difficult of other institutions would be business suicide in terms of income for schools. They do not want to lose students. I repeat, they do not want to lose students. It is simple economics.
        Also, you should realize that schools, whether they are public institutions or privates institutions, are guided by their desire for profit. That is the reason schools have pools, gyms, extracurricular activities, etc…. They are competing with other institutions for your money.
        This is one skill that you need for law school. Critical thinking. And generally, this is the base skill taught (or at least they try to teach it) in all universities.
        They are tasked with creating the perception of an overwhelming and difficult educational process without actually losing many students (as long as they do the work in a timely manner).