If you’ve ever needed a lawyer to defend you, you may have wished that you could call one of the famous lawyers from popular TV shows from years past. We thought it would be fun to compile our own “Top 10” list of famous TV shows that focused on attorneys and/or the law.
From Perry Mason to “LA Law,” meet some of the courtroom’s finest who always get their man or woman:
1. Perry Mason (1957-1966). Perhaps the most famous of all TV lawyers, Mason was portrayed by Raymond Burr. Mason was the type of lawyer who got the confessions he needed to prove his clients’ innocence.
2. Matlock (1986-95). Andy Griffith starred as Matlock, using his charm and wits in the courtroom. The show followed the same formula as “Perry Mason,” proving to be a long-time hit on the small screen.
3. Ally McBeal (1997-2002). Calista Flockhart was portrayed the eponymous character, whose eccentric mannerisms matched her quirky law firm of Cage and Fish. While most of the action on the series focused on relationships of the cast, no one can deny the appeal of Flockhart’s McBeal.
4. Law and Order. (1990 to present). “Law and Order” and its many spinoffs features police and legal drama. What keeps the show running is its plots which are based on headlines that are currently in the news. The show has featured Jerry Orbach and Angie Harmon, among many other stars.
5. Night Court (1984-1992). “Night Court” offers comedy in the courtroom. The hit show also gave us two lawyers, John Larroquette’s Dan Fielding and Markie Post’s Christine Sullivan, who went head to head hilariously.
6. JAG (1995-2005). The popular series featured military-based cases; in fact, “JAG” stands for “Judge Advocate General.” Even the U.S. Department of Defense took notice of the show. It has even allowed the show to use its equipment and military installations.
7. The Practice (1997-2004). Dylan McDermott portrayed Bobby Donnell, a compassionate but conflicted lawyer. “The Practice” showed some unethical sides of the law after Bobby’s departure from the firm.
8. Boston Legal. (2004-2008). “Boston Legal” was a spinoff of “The Practice,” featuring the talent of Candice Bergen, James Spader and “Star Trek’s” William Shatner.
9. LA Law (1986-1994). “LA Law” will mostly be remembered for its eye-candy lawyers, but it also dealt with hot topics such as gay rights, AIDS and abortion.
10. C.S.I.: Criminal Scene Investigation (2000 to present). Like “Law and Order,” “C.S.I.” has had many spinoffs including “C.S.I: Miami.” And no it’s technically not a lawyer show – but it does deal with the law so we thought we’d include it. The gritty series often has been criticized for its graphic content, but it is currently the most popular TV show in the world.