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Every attorney needs to take a break from time to time—so don’t for a second feel guilty about blowing through a whole season of SVU this weekend.
And if you’re stuck at home with some downtime, we’ve put together a list of 10 of the best TV shows for attorneys that are a great way to take your mind off things. Toss a bag of popcorn into the microwave, pour a glass of your favorite whatever and grab the remote.
(More of a movie buff? Click here.)
1. Law & Order
Dun-duh! You just played the signature music segue in your head, didn’t you? The long-running (three decades now!) police and courtroom drama series has spawned numerous spinoffs and inspired dozens of copycat shows. Whether you’re a fan of the original or one of its offspring (SVU, Criminal Intent, etc), you’ve got enough episodes to fill a year or two.
Though it ended its run in 2019, Suits has gained a cult following thanks to syndication and streaming services. Though more drama than courtroom, there’s still plenty of appeal for folks in the legal realm. It follows the story of a brilliant law school dropout who gets hired by one of the city’s best attorneys. We found ourselves re-watching episodes out of sheer enjoyment.
Don’t dismiss this one as a simple comic book series. Its lead character, Daredevil, is a lawyer by day and a masked do-gooder at night. Though he may be blind, Daredevil’s other senses have been enhanced to supernatural levels. The premise alone is interesting enough, but the characters are deep and the storylines are well thought out.
4. Making a Murderer
If you haven’t watched an episode, there’s a good chance you’ve read about some of the controversy around it. This documentary series made a big splash when it debuted in 2015 by igniting serious conversations about the media and the American legal system. Engage in enough small talk with any group of attorneys, and we practically guarantee you’ll hear about this show.
5. The Good Wife
A legal drama with plenty of political intrigue, “The Good Wife” ran for seven seasons—racking up an impressive list of awards in the process. The plot follows a lawyer as she builds her career in the aftermath of her husband’s political scandal. This series benefits from a stream of fresh storylines and dynamite character development.
6. Night Court
When compared to other sitcoms of a similar vintage, “Night Court” has aged pretty darn well. Don’t count on much realism, but the characters are funny, the writing is solid and the premise is unique. While most of the action follows the judge played by Harry Anderson, John Larroquette stands out as the love-to-hate prosecutor. It’s a great show if you need a laugh—give it a few episodes before it hits its stride though.
7. Perry Mason
Without “Perry Mason,” there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have many of the shows on this list. It’s a seminal series that set the benchmarks for legal dramas. It’s also fun to spot guest stars appearing early in their careers, including Robert Redford and some “Star Trek” alums. If you’re lucky enough to catch an episode in syndication, give it your attention.
8. For Life
This is a new one, and we’re hoping it gets picked up for some more seasons. It centers around a man convicted of a crime he didn’t commit, who then gets his law degree in prison and works to defend others in similar situations—all while fighting to overturn his own conviction. Though only a few episodes in, fingers crossed that we get to see some more character development.
9. Better Call Saul
Actor Bob Odenkirk reprises his role as Jimmy McGill, a lawyer that was introduced to us in AMC’s powerful “Breaking Bad” series. In this prequel spinoff, we learn the curious course of events that made McGill the unique character he is. It’s got a compelling mix of drama and dark comedy. You don’t necessarily have to be a “Breaking Bad” fan to enjoy the series either (though it helps).
10. Rumpole of the Bailey
This series might be new to American viewers, but it’s a household name for legal professionals in the U.K. The main character, Horace Rumpole, is witty in a delightfully British way and his sense of duty is admirable. A one-off BBC episode ran in 1968, while the series debuted in 1978 with a handful of restarts throughout the 1980s and 90s—thankfully you may have luck finding episodes online.
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