If you’ve ever seen an episode of Nancy Grace or watched Greta Van Susteren in action, you may have wondered how these individuals got their start. It’s not rocket science to figure out that by associating with high profile cases or high profile people in some way or another, you get noticed. In addition to attention through association, these specific individuals have expertise in the areas they are presenting on television, are able to articulate the case in ways the general public can understand, and have an understanding of the show they are on and what is expected of them by the audience. We have compiled a list of the top five legal commentators based on name recognition.
Greta Van Susteren earned her J.D. From Georgetown University Law Center in 1979 and prior to starting in television, worked as an adjunct faculty member in Georgetown Law as well as maintaining a full time legal career. She got her start as a legal commentator through appearing as a legal analyst on CNN during coverage of the O.J. Simpson Murder Trial. This led to her stint on CNN’s Burden of Proof and The Point. In 2002, after a highly publicized contract bidding war, she switched to the Fox News Channel and began hosting the current affairs show On the Record w/ Greta Van Susteren.
Dan Abrams is an American television host, legal commentator, Web entrepreneur and author. He obtained his B.A. cum laude in political science from Duke University in 1988. While at Duke, he anchored newscasts on Cable 13, a student run channel. He went on to receive his J.D. From Columbia University Law School in 1992. Dan got his start working as a reporter for Court TV where he covered the O.J. Simpson case, as well as the International War Crimes Tribunal from the Netherlands and the assisted-suicide trials of Dr. Jack Kevorkian. He is currently a legal analyst at ABC News Good Morning America and a substitute anchor for the network. He has previously worked as a chief legal analyst for NBC News, as General Manager of MSNBC and as an anchor for that network.
Nancy Grace worked for almost a decade in the Atlanta-Fulton County, Georgia District Attorney’s office as a Special Prosecutor prior to her career as a broadcaster. After leaving the Fulton County prosecutors’ office, she was approached by Steven Brill, the Court TV founder, to do a legal commentary show right alongside Johnnie Cochran. Johnnie Cochran left the show and she was moved to a solo trial coverage show on Court TV. She began hosting Nancy Grace on CNN Headline News in 2005, a regular primetime legal analysis show.
Mark Geragos, born in Los Angeles, CA, graduated from Loyola Law School in 1982, is currently the managing partner at The Law Offices of Geragos and Geragos. Geragos apppears as a guest and legal commentator on the Today show, Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper 360 and On the Record. He obtained national attention through representing convicted Whitewater figure Susan McDougal, the former business partner of former President Bill Clinton. He also handled Michael Jackson’s molestation case in the early stages as well as the Scott Peterson death penalty case.
Ann Coulter, who frequently appears on TV, radio and public speaking events, is an American conservative social and political commentator. She is also a best-selling author, syndicated columnist and lawyer. Coulter can be a controversial figure as she likes to “stir the pot” and not pretend to be impartial. She got her start in the 1990s when she was an outspoken critic of the Clinton Administration.
Celebrity Legal Commentator RUNNER UPS: Robert Shapiro, Alan Dershowitz and Gloria Allred
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