Alan Dershowitz

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Alan Dershowitz is one of the few lawyers who clearly distinguish themselves from the pack. Alan has earned a reputation as a lawyer who ‘completely turned the tables’ in a few high-profile cases for which he argued. ‘Clause Von Bulow’ was one such well-known case. The majority of the cases he took on ended successfully. Apart from his routine of appearing in court for his various clients, Alan has also expressed his views on a variety of social and political issues afflicting the world. He has authored dozens of books over the years, in which he has discussed issues such as Israel-Palestine hostility, animal cruelty, and long-standing hypocrisies in the world. He has also authored hundreds of articles for publications such as ‘The Wall Street Journal’, ‘The New York Times Magazine’, and ‘The Huffington Post’, ranging in subject matter from academics to terrorism. Alan has frequently been invited to speak to students at numerous universities. Alan continues to lend his expertise in legal matters despite nearly five decades of judicial service.

Childhood & Adolescence

Alan Dershowitz was born to Orthodox Jewish parents Harry and Claire Dershowitz on September 1, 1938. He was raised in Brooklyn’s Borough Park neighborhood. Alan’s father enjoyed a distinguished career. Harry was a board member of the ‘Etz Chaim’ school in Borough Park and served as president of the ‘Young Israel Synagogue’. Alan asserts that his father inspired him to pursue a career in law.

Alan graduated from ‘Yershiva University High School’ after completing his primary education. Alan was well-known among his teachers during his time here for being a notorious student. They even believed Alan was better suited for a job that required more speech and less intelligence. He spent the majority of his time at Yershiva on the basketball court.

Alan enrolled at ‘Brooklyn College’ and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the institution in 1959. Alan later enrolled at Yale Law School. Alan was an active member of the ‘Yale Law Journal’ during his time at Yale, serving as its editor-in-chief.

Alan graduated from Yale in 1962 with a degree in law and was the class’s valedictorian. Career Soon after, Alan obtained a license to practice law. His first assignment was as a clerk to David L Bazelon, a well-known attorney and Chief Judge of the ‘United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’. Alan recalls his experience working with Bazelon as one of the highlights of his career.

He then worked for Arthur Goldberg as a law clerk from 1963 to 1964. Arthur served as the Supreme Court’s ‘Associate Justice’ at the time. Alan joined the ‘Harvard Law School’ as an assistant professor around the same time. In less than three years, he was promoted to the rank of professor, making him the institution’s youngest professor.

Alan’s first high-profile case as an independent attorney was defending actor Harry Reems, who was convicted of distributing the pornographic film ‘Deep Throat,’ in which he also appeared. Alan argued the case with conviction, and the court found Harry not guilty.

Alan fought two high-profile cases in the 1980s. The first involved Claus Von Bulow, a British socialite, and the second pitted him against Jozef Glemp, a former ‘Archbishop of Warsaw’. The Jozef Glemp case was brought to light in 1989, when the Archbishop of Warsaw accused Rabbi Avi Weiss of assaulting nuns at a convent near the ‘Auschwitz concentration camp.’ Avi Weiss enlisted Alan’s assistance in defending the case.

The latter brought a libel suit against the Archbishop. Alan included several examples from this case in his book ‘Chutzpah’. Alan’s career was also highlighted by the case involving famous footballer and actor O.J Simpson. Alan served as an advisor to Simpson’s defense team, which worked tirelessly to acquit Simpson of a double homicide charge. Simpson was acquitted by the court in 1995, following an eight-month legal battle.

Significant Works of  Alan

Alan argued that Claus had not murdered Sunny Von Bulow, the latter’s wife, in the Claus Von Bulow case, which was reopened in 1984. Claus, who had previously been convicted, was later acquitted by the court after Alan fought the case.

This sensational case also captured the attention of the film industry, and a film titled ‘Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bülow case’ was eventually released based on this incident.

Alan is the author of dozens of books, many of which are based on his legal experiences. ‘The Best Defense’, ‘The Advocate’s Devil’, and ‘The Case for Peace: How the Arab-Israeli Conflict Can Be Resolved’ are among the most popular of these works.

Awards and Accomplishments

Alan received a ‘Guggenheim Fellowship For Social Sciences’ in 1979 in recognition of his legal services. In 1983, he was presented with the ‘William.O. Douglas First Amendment Award’ by the Jewish service organization ‘B’nai B’rith International’ for his contributions to civil and human rights.

The University of Harvard bestowed upon him the title of ‘Frankfurter Professor of Law,’ a title bestowed in recognition of one’s contributions to the field of law. Additionally, he has received numerous honorary doctorates from various universities.

Personal History and Legacies

Alan was initially married to Sue Barlach, whom he later divorced. He then married Carolyn Cohen, a psychology PhD candidate. Alan and Carolyn are the parents of three children and two grandchildren. One of his children is now a film producer, another an actor, and another followed in Alan’s footsteps and became an attorney for the ‘Women’s Basketball Association.

Alan was embroiled in a major controversy in 1990, when Mike Barnacle, a reporter for the newspaper ‘The Boston Globe,’ accused him of having an affinity for Asian women. Alan, enraged, sued the newspaper for defamation. However, the newspaper settled the dispute amicably and agreed to pay Alan $75000 in compensation.

Alan is a fervent supporter of Israel’s government and policies. He has frequently expressed his views on Israel and Palestine’s political issues in both books and news articles.

Estimated Net Worth

Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer and former professor with a net worth of $20 million, is a lawyer and former professor.  Alan Dershowitz specializes in constitutional and criminal law in the United States.

He is best known for taking on high-profile cases on behalf of controversial clients such as Julian Assange, Mike Tyson, Patty Hearst, and Harvey Weinstein. Dershowitz also defended O. J. Simpson, Donald Trump, and Jeffrey Epstein, and was accused of rape in 2014 by one of Epstein’s victims.


Two cartoon strips based on Alan Dershowitz were published in the venerable newspaper ‘New York Times.’ Additionally, the man was featured in a crossword puzzle on the ‘New York Times’.