Otto Preminger, whose films include Anatomy of a Murder, Laura, and the controversial The Moon is Blue, was trained as an attorney in his native Austria. Lovers of TV’s Batman series may also remember him as the villainous “Mr. Freeze.” After the premiere of Preminger’s four hour film Exodus, comedian Mort Sahl is reported to have said, “Otto! Let my people go!”

David Merrick (born David Margulois) earned a law degree from St. Louis University before moving on to produce such hits as The Male Animal and Fanny.

Frederick Wiseman graduated from Yale Law School and practiced before becoming a full-time director, and one of the best known and most celebrated U.S. directors alive today. The impetus for his change of career? His documentary Titicut Follies, which arose out of his interest in the rights of the mentally ill.

Federico Fellini started out to study law at the University of Rome but thought better of it, turned to journalism and then to cinema.

Rick Eid,  a former attorney, is the showrunner for Law & Order: SVU, the extremely successful Law & Order spinoff.