“If the glove doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” attorney Johnnie Cochran quipped during the O.J. Simpson trial, later dubbed the “trial of the century” in American media. After attending UCLA for his undergraduate studies and receiving a law degree from Loyola-Marymount University, Cochran burst onto the legal scene as a powerful African-American lawyer out to seek justice for others with a keen eye for the controversy.
Cochran started out his legal career as a Deputy Attorney for the Los Angeles Criminal Division, where he eventually was able to work his way up to the position of Assistant District Attorney for all of the Los Angeles area. The judge in the O.J. Simpson trial, Lance Ito, actually also served in the same District Attorney office as Cochran, before Cochran eventually left the office to start his own firm. While there, he landed both criminal and civil cases.
Cochran On the O.J. Trial
Though Cochran rise in the legal was on the up-and-up even before the O.J. Simpson trial, his true fame and fortune as an attorney did not strike until the controversial case, where Cochran eventually helped Simpson to reach an acquittal on the murder charges brought up against him. Along with other attorneys on what was deemed the “dream team,” Cochran was hired by Robert L. Shapiro to serve on the trial at the request of Simpson. Though Cochran was often accused of playing the “race card” during the Simpson trial and often preached to the mostly African-American jury, his job was seen as influential in freeing Simpson from the charges brought up against him.
Cochran’s Other Clients
Though Cochran may be most well known for his defense of O.J. Simpson, he also has a laundry list of other famous celebrity clients: Michael Jackson, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Todd Bridges, and James Brown. In 1994, Cochran was deemed as one of the best trial lawyers in America, and he also penned an autobiography, “Journey to Justice,” which told the story of the upbringing of Cochran and his rise to fame.