TV, Movies, & Sports

BEST FICTIONAL LAWYERS ON TELEVISION

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Lawyers can be weird, funny, impressive, mean, unapologetic and what not. But these lawyers know how and when to get their work done. Lot of lawyers and law firm related shows have appeared on the American TV in recent years. Most popular of all has to be the current favorite of all women around the world, Mr. Harvey Reginald Specter working for Pearson Specter Litt and also the best closer New York city ever had.

Apart from doctors and detectives, there aren’t many professions where scriptwriters can experiment but lawyers can give a whole new dimension in an episode of a regular TV drama or a new TV series altogether. Lawsuits provide ready-made drama. A real life lawyer might not be as lavish as they show on TV or as versatile but yeah the reel life ones are for our entertainment and they serve that purpose extremely well.

So here’s a list of best fictional lawyers on television with most memorable characters that made an impression on everyone’s mind for a just single episode or a whole series in no particular order.


ELSBETH TASCIONI

THE GOOD WIFE

There’s no shortage of excellent and entertaining lawyers on The Good Wife, as attorneys of the law firm, Lockhart Gardner, mostly found pitted against the opposing counsel but no one matches the recurring character of Elsbeth Tascioni for her eccentricity. Courtrooms opponents underestimate the quirky Tascioni. She’s one brilliant mind that has helped many main characters of the show such as Will Gardner, State Attorney Peter Florick from their own legal scrapes.

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JEFF WINGER

COMMUNITY

Okay, Jeff Winger was not technically a lawyer when the show started (but eventually passed out as a Lawyer from Greendale Community College (GCC)) as his law firm found out about his law degree was not from Columbia University but from country Columbia and was disbarred. Then he did his time at GCC to get a real degree and becomes a leader of his study group and argues with his colleagues often. He always ends up giving a rousing speech like a lawyer.

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JACKIE CHILES

SEINFELD

Jackie Chiles is a thinly veiled parody of Johnnie Cochran who was an over the top, outspoken attorney who represented show’s characters in lawsuits involving everything from hot coffee burns to premature aging  and distracted driving caused by a woman’s bra. Chiles’ best efforts were thwarted but he made a point to show up to the very last episode of the show to defend the Seinfeld gang against the charges of criminal indifferences.

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ALLY MCBEAL

ALLY MCBEAL

I haven’t seen any lawyer having so many romantic entanglements as much as Ally. But she had a heart and the silliness that lawyers sometimes lack. The cases Ally dealt with informed her personal life and vice-versa, reframing the question of “work-life balance” as more of a mixture. She had a wild imagination and kooky fantasies.

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SAUL GOODMAN

BREAKING BAD

If you are a successful meth dealer keeping a lawyer handy can be a good bet. Luckily for teacher turned drug lord Walter White he had one named Saul Goodman. A criminal lawyer, he attracts clients using yellow pages and a low budget TV ads but his legal knowledge and representation was top class. With flashy suits and questionable ethics he exemplifies many of the worst stereotypes of lawyers and while doing that he brings along a much needed comic relief to the show.

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HARVEY SPECTER

SUITS

The “best closer of New York city”, he subscribes to the saying “work hard, party harder” approach while lawyering.  He is everything a lawyer in the whole city wants to be. Working in a top firm, Harvard alumni, the best associate in the name of Mike Ross and the sexiest secretary one would ever want to have, Donna Paulsen. Specter doesn’t mind in telling the truth however harsh or hard hitting to his clients. He hiring Ross ensures a mentor-mentee relationship reveals Specter is more than just a soulless corporate lawyer which he would never like to accept it in front of anyone.

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DENNY CRANE

BOSTON LEGAL

The most self obsessed lawyer I have ever seen on TV. He likes his own voice, sheep and his guns. The legal record of him is 6043 wins to zero losses if you would like to believe him. He’s a self proclaimed legend in the courtroom. Though there is a touching humanity best characterised by Crane’s friendship with Alan Shore (he doesn’t make the cut in this list of mine because I think he’s above all of the above listed lawyers in the history of American TV). Both of them have a special time at the end of every episode and as Crane develops Alzheimer he becomes more and more reliable on Shore and ending the whole series by marrying him in the last episode.

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If I have missed any lawyer that you have in mind, do let me, @EkCupCoffee or @TDGMag know in the comments section.

24 | Coffee Aficionado | Armchair TV Expert | Gujju Entrepreneur

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