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The 11 Most Influencial Lawyers in the World

Image: WSJ

Lawyers wield plenty of influence generally speaking, but when it comes to listing the most influencial in the world, then only TIME magazine is up for that gig.

And they have named them as part of their TIME 100 list of the most influencial people in the world with over 10 percent of the list being lawyers, including those who do not practice law but are (surprise, surprise) politicians, CEOs and others.

We went to AbovetheLaw to determine the lawyers they noticed, working on the basis that if AbovetheLaw picked them from the list, then they must be worth a look.

But – to use a caveat – this is a heavily US-based view of the lawyers who matter most in the world?  Are there major world figures in the law or business who are in such powerful positions as the IMF (Christine Lagarde) or

1. Hillary Clinton: From First Lady to Secretary of State to Grandma, this repeat honoree has held many titles in her day. Will her next one be that of President? Much of America is Ready for Hillary, and right now, she’s the lone Democrat in the field. Sure, she may have had that email gaffe recently, but as Laurene Powell Jobs notes, she’s also “one of America’s greatest modern creations,” and she may have Yale Law to thank for it.

2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg: If 2014 was the Year of R.B.G., then 2015 will no doubt be even bigger for America’s favorite justice. From t-shirts, to memes, to wedding invitations, to books inspired by Tumblrs, even Justice Scalia knows that there’s no truth without Ruth. After all, he says his opera buddy “is a source of collegiality and good judgment in all [the Supreme Court’s] work.” We love you, Justice Ginsburg, please don’t ever retire!

3. Xi Jinping: A repeat honoree, Jinping is the president of China. He is a graduate of Tsinghua University, where he received his LL.D. He’s also “likely to be China’s most powerful leader since Mao.” Oh my, that sure sounds a little… ominous.

4. Marine Le Pen: If you haven’t heard of her before, Le Pen is the president of National Front, the third-largest political party in France. She’s a lawyer and a powerful right-wing politician, which can be a dangerous combination. To defeat her, France’s leaders will need to “mount a more appealing revolution of their own.”

5. Mitch McConnell: This Kentucky Law grad is the longest serving U.S. Senator in Kentucky history. As the Senate’s Majority Leader, McConnell has earned himself a reputation as a bit of a political villain, but luckily for him, Speaker of the House John Boehner thinks his bestie’s “mind is a marvelous machine.” Aww, too cute.

6. Barack Obama: The two-term POTUS is yet another repeat honoree on this list. He may be a lame duck, but that hasn’t stopped the Harvard Law grad from attempting to kick ass and take names in his own way. Plus, he thinks law school should be only two years long, and regardless of your political affiliation, who could disagree with that?

7. Samantha Power: As a lawyer, an advocate, a journalist, and a U.N. Ambassador, this repeat honoree seems to have it all. In fact, she even has a glowing recommendation from former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Harvard Law sure knows how to pick ‘em.

8. Vladimir Putin: Putin, the President of Russia, graduated from Leningrad State University (now known as Saint Petersburg State University), the oldest law school in the country. He studied international law while there, and now bends those laws in his governance of Russia. Here’s an action figure of Putin riding a bear while shirtless.

9. Adam Silver: Wanna be a balla? Shot calla? He did. After graduating from U. Chi Law, Silver went on to serve time as a litigation associate at Cravath before joining the ranks of the NBA, where he’s served as commissioner since February 2014. When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar refers to you as the “king of the court,” you know you’ve made it.

10. Bryan Stevenson: As the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson (who’s also an NYU Law prof) believes “every person is more than the worst thing they’ve ever done, which is a lesson to so many that forgiveness is a necessary means to achieving equality for all.” Three cheers for a man recognized for his legal work.

11. Elizabeth Warren: Hillary Clinton penned Sen. Warren’s write-up, calling her a “progressive champion.” Although the former Penn Law and Harvard Law professor has denied she’ll be running for president, she hasn’t said anything about running for vice-president. How ’bout it, Hillary? You could use a Native American on your ticket.

Congratulations to all the lawyers who made the Time 100. These worthy attorneys stand as living proof that you truly can do anythi

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