Tribute to Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., ESQ.
Who Was Johnnie Cochran?
Johnnie Cochran established himself as a sought after attorney dealing with high-profile police brutality cases involving the African American community. He attracted famous clients like Michael Jackson and led O. J. Simpson's defense team in the 1995 murder trial. Amidst much debate over the case, Cochran entered the national spotlight and became a celebrity himself, making screen appearances and writing his memoirs.
Education and Early Career
Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. was born on October 2, 1937, in Shreveport, Louisiana, to Hattie and Johnnie L. Cochran Sr. The family moved to California in 1943, where the younger Cochran eventually excelled as a student in what was becoming a more racially integrated environment. In 1959, he received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and later attended Loyola Marymount University Law School, graduating in 1962. Upon passing the bar, Cochran worked as a deputy criminal prosecutor in Los Angeles. By mid-decade, he’d entered private practice with Gerald Lenoir and soon launched a firm of his own, Cochran, Atkins & Evans.