As televised defenders of the law, these lawyers illustrate the many facets of the judicial system, without denying that they often fall into excess. Some of them could totally clear a driver caught in the act of taking massive amounts of hard drugs while driving a stolen car against the flow of traffic on the highway, while others would not be able to keep the Dalai Lama out of jail, if he was arrested for jaywalking. These are the aces at the bar, the ones who may have encouraged you to go into law.
1- Patty Hewes (Damages)
When the other side objects, Patty Hewes takes care of it behind the scenes with some nasty tackles. A true hyena of the lawless courts, this tyrannical queen of the penal code has the prosecutors and juries shaking in their boots, and will stop at nothing to get her way.
The typical case she is assigned: embezzlement, tax fraud…
2- Saul Goodman (Better Call Saul/Breaking Bad)
James McGuil, alias Saul Goodman, was not always this virtuoso talker specialized in desperate cases and always flirting more or less with illegality. Before representing the notorious Heisenberg, Goodman was a courtroom scourer and public defender. A legal wreck, Saul earned his American Dream by dealing with the worst criminals and using a punchline like no other. He is the rock star of the judiciary. He’s the one who never lets himself be beaten and who is almost as guilty as those he defends.
The typical case he is assigned: manufacturing and reselling drugs, with aggravating circumstances, such as extortion or kidnapping.
3- Jack McCoy (Law & Order)
Under his benevolent airs, Jack McCoy doesn’t hesitate to regularly put some kicks in the anthill to get justice done. Convicted several times for contempt of court, he doesn’t care about conventions and multiplies aggressive maneuvers to achieve his goals and thus do justice to his profession. According to him, the constitution must be the sword at the service of the innocent victims. He is the maverick lawyer par excellence.
The typical case he gets: the really serious stuff. Murder, rape, and anything that leads to death row.
4- Jeff Winger (Community)
Forced to return to college to get a law degree after a setback, this lawyer shines with his casual demeanor and coolness. Capable of clearing the worst scum, he nevertheless has his hands tied, suffers from frequent fits of rage, and also knows how to show empathy when circumstances require it. Charismatic, he is a born leader and a father figure.
The typical case he gets passed on: none, and that’s his biggest problem.
5- Jackie Chiles (Seinfeld)
A parody of the famous Johnnie Cochran (from the O.J. Simpson trial and South Park’s Chewbacca Defense), Jackie Chiles is the ultimate funky lawyer. He’s not only a great looker, he’s also a big talker and he’s not afraid of anything or anyone. After all, he’s the one in charge of defending good old Kramer!
The typical case he is assigned: the petty procedures that make it possible to extract a little money from a company. And it’s often to bail out Kramer.
6- Ally McBeal (Ally McBeal)
With her endless legs, unregulated mini-skirts, tendency toward over-the-top romance and wild imagination, Ally brings glamour and whimsy to the bar. While she’s coping with cases that are oddly related to her own experiences, Miss McBeal is nonetheless a winning ace in her field. And what’s more, she can sing!
The typical case she is assigned: anything that has to do with love or sex. Especially sex.
7- Alicia Florrick (The Good Wife)
The one who has everything to prove! Stung by a scandal caused by the infidelity of her husband, who is corrupt to the core, Alicia starts over and swims against the tide of prejudice, while trying to keep her family afloat. Courageous mother, lawyer, she is the “good wife” of the title of the series, but not only.
The typical case that she is assigned: murders, love stories that go wrong and more generally everything that affects the family and the couple.
8- Harvey Specter (Suits)
He is the wolf of New York. The handsome guy with a steely gaze ready to do anything to win and crush his enemies. The devil’s advocate capable of defending the worst scumbags, if the case will allow him to get ahead of the game and burnish his reputation.
The typical case he gets: nobody gives him anything. He chooses his cases.
9- Perry Mason (Perry Mason)
The myth ! A true stakhanovist, Perry Mason, the bearded lawyer, a sort of legal variation of Gandalf, has won an incredible number of cases, thanks to his innovative and destabilizing methods for the opposing party, whose objections seemed doomed in advance. Ozzy Osbourne even sang his praises in an eponymous song in the form of a vibrant heavy metal tribute.
The typical case he is given: clearing a man unjustly accused of murder.
10- Benjamin Matlock (Matlock)
A whimsical, unofficial, beardless look-alike of KFC’s Colonel Sanders, Matlock is a top-notch barrister. The kind of lawyer who, for the modest sum of $100,000, can win any case. A legend in the courts and on American television.
The typical case he is assigned to: often murders.
11- Lionel Hutz (The Simpsons)
He is the ultimate loser of the bar. The cheat who gets the cases no one wants. The lawyer who has had one setback after another and loses every time (or almost every time). The public defender that nobody wants. The broken arm of justice.
The typical case that he is assigned: he does everything but the worse it is, the better it is.
12- Marshall Eriksen (How I Met Your Mother)
An idealist, Marshall dreams of defending the environment, but must at first be content to put his skills to work for a powerful bank. He is the frustrated lawyer. He’s the frustrated lawyer who’s always on the go, but never loses hope.
The typical case he is assigned: to attack a powerful industrial group for obvious ocean pollution.
13- Sebastian Stark (Shark)
With a face like that (that of James Woods in this case), Sebastian Stark could only be an extremely confident lawyer. However, under the shell and the charisma, hide a lot of remorse and a heart that beats… Yes, he does!
The typical case he is assigned: murders, rapes, kidnappings, Stark is involved in serious cases.
14- Josephine Karlsson (Engrenages)
Sulfurous and sexy, Joséphine Karlsson only wants one thing: to regain her virginity at the bar. This may seem paradoxical, but you’ll agree. In search of cases that could help her reach her goal, the young lawyer is a born calculator!
The typical case she is assigned: a dispute with the police? Joséphine rushes in!