There’s nothing like a law-focused tv show: The tension, the intense stories, the presumed perpetrator, the unfortunate victim, the charismatic attorneys, the drama in the lawyers’ personal lives.
From the dead seriousness of Law and Order to the comedy of Seinfeld, tv lawyers give us some of the best hours of television out there. But who do we love best? In no particular order, here are a few of our (and probably your) favorites.
Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul
We first met Saul Goodman in Breaking Bad before he began starring in his own spinoff. As a lawyer, Goodman makes great use of his past as a con artist while representing criminals while himself getting deeper involved in the criminal world. You might not want to hire this guy if you’re bothered by a lawyer who constantly skirts the law, but if you don’t care if your case is won in a legitimate manner, he’s the perfect lawyer.
Alan Shore of Boston Legal
Alan Shore is a highly effective (and eccentric) lawyer, though he is often just a wee bit unethical. Shore is brilliant and competent, but has no problem with bribery, hacking, and blackmail to get the results he wants for himself or his clients. This is a lawyer you want on your side because you absolutely don’t need him going against you!
Oliver Babish in The West Wing
Oliver Babish is clearly a highly skilled legal mind but seems to be quite lax when it comes to the day-to-day details. That said, he focuses when he’s supposed to and follows the law to the letter. The occasional passionate outburst aside, he’s the kind of lawyer you want on your team when you want someone ethical and knowledgeable.
Matt Murdock in Daredevil
How can you not love Matt Murdock? He’s an expertly trained martial artist who, after being blinded as a child, had his senses heightened to a superhuman level. So he not only seems to be able to “see” everything around him, he can kick serious butt, too—all while wearing a cool, red outfit. All those skills AND he’s a lawyer! Who doesn’t want a lawyer who’s a superhero secretly known as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen?
Jack McCoy in Law and Order
There is no question that Jack McCoy cares about his job. So much so that he earned the nickname “Hang ‘em High McCoy” for his tendency to bend trial rules to get convictions and use dubious tactics such as charging innocent people with serious crimes to scare them into cooperating with the District Attorney’s office. He’s also frequently found in contempt of court for his antics. But whatever—if you’re the victim, this guy’s heart is in the right place.
Jackie Chiles in Seinfeld
This character, a parody of Johnnie Cochran, is actually a skilled lawyer, but he’s unlucky to have the unpredictable, looney Kramer as his client. Kramer’s antics guarantee over-the-top public humiliation for Chiles, who appeared in only a handful of Seinfeld episodes but still became an instant favorite.