Lindsay Lohan Credits Tough Judge With Saving Her Career

02/23/2012
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(TMZ) Judge Stephanie Sautner's zero-tolerance, no-BS attitude saved Lindsay Lohan's career -- at least that's what the actress is telling friends.

Sources close to Lindsay tell TMZ, LiLo wasn't a big fan of Sautner in the beginning -- but she now realizes that without Sautner laying out a blueprint for success ... she never would've gotten her act together.

We know ... the judge and Lindsay's lawyer, Shawn Holley, met privately before LiLo was sentenced and decided it was unwise to do what the other judges had ordered -- requiring Lindsay to perform hundreds of hours of community service within a year.

The judge and Holley realized Lindsay needed more rigid structure -- each month she'd be required to come to court and show she's completed the latest installment of community service, and if she didn't she was going directly to jail.

It worked.

What's more ... Lindsay actually gets it and realizes the only reason new opportunities have surfaced -- including "Saturday Night Live" and a new Liz Taylor movie -- is because producers are watching and think she's turned it around. more on this story

TMZ submitted this story.
Copyright TMZ - Excerpted here with permission.

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