Sunday, July 11, 2010

An O.J. Connection? Marcia Rachel Clark, the Hebrew Scholar

Marcia Rachel Clark gained national prominence as the prosecutor of legendary football player O.J. Simpson. Yet, long before the Simpson trial made her famous, Clark had built an enviable legal reputation. The one-time professional dancer left private practice to become a Los Angeles assistant district attorney in 1981, a fortuitous career choice that allowed the 28-year-old lawyer to combine her interest in victim advocacy with powerful preparatory skills and a strong courtroom style. Clark prevailed in 19 successful homicide prosecutions in just over a decade against such high-profile defendants as the murderer of TV actress Rebecca Schaeffer and Los Angeles vigilante James Hawkins. Colleagues and adversaries alike praise her abilities. She is noted for her ability to critically examine complex scientific evidence.

Clark was born in Oakland, California, on August 31, 1953, to Abraham Kleks and Rozlyn Mazur Kleks. In their strict orthodox Jewish household academic achievement took priority. Clark and her brother studied heavily and took classes in Hebrew twice a week. Clark's passion was drama: she studied ballet; took lead roles in high school plays; and later, as a student at the University of California, Los Angeles, briefly toured with a professional dance company. But Clark had nonartistic interests as well, as reflected in her undergraduate degree in political science, awarded in 1976. Upon graduation, she married and enrolled in Southwestern University School of Law. The marriage, to Gabriel Horowitz, a flamboyant backgammon gambler known for his high-stakes hustling of celebrities, did not last. It did, however, once bring Clark across the path of Simpson, one of her husband's—and later her own—famous opponents.

Following her graduation from law school in 1979 Clark decided to specialize in criminal law, and the rest, as they say, is history and a $4.2 million book contract.

I've always wondered whether Marcia Clark has ever come across any interesting dream interpretations over the years.


Gary Freedman said...

My people love to cash in!

Gary Freedman said...

Incidentally, I vaguely recall reading years ago that O.J. Simpson attorney Robert Shapiro's father was a garment worker, like my father. My father cut neckties. I think Shapiro's father worked in a shirt factory.