They are twisted, sharp, witty and extremely strategic. And that’s what makes lawyers great at what they do. Those who live and work by the books are the “good guys”. But the ones who make good stories are the ones who bend the rules to their benefit and that of their client. As Charles Lamb said, “He’s not a lawyer who can’t take two sides.” Not that that makes them “mean,” they’re just twisted, shoving their way through loopholes in the law and always helping people and winning the day. That’s exactly why we love these revolutionary television lawyers, who make the bad look so good they deserve special admiration. From morally conflicted Jimmy McGill to You better call Saul to the suave and masterful Alan Shore of Boston Legal, each of these attorneys is far from ideal, but they are all exceptional at what they do anyway.
Saul Goodman/Jimmy McGill – Better Call Saul/Breaking Bad
Played by: Bob Odenkerk
First appeared on:breaking Bad Season 2, Episode 8, “Better Call Saul”
Where to watch: Watch both series on Netflix
What we like about the character: The first name that comes to mind at the mention of a sleazy lawyer is Saul Goodman (not Jimmy McGill). Even when he was a small lawyer, working in his matchbox office in the back of a nail salon and trying a bit to be decent, he was never a straight arrow. So when circumstances made him become Saul Goodman, it was no surprise. If as Jimmy he was smart, as Saul he became a master at bending the law. Whether he’s Jimmy, Saul, or Gene, he’s a bold, brave man who defies caution and can change his own destiny, as well as the law, for better or for worse. There may be many unsavory aspects to his character, but you can’t ignore his dark wit and sense of humor, and his personality that gets him through any situation and saves his clients even in trouble. they are dangerous people.
Played by: Viola Davis
First appeared on:How to get away with murder Season 1, Episode 1, “Pilot”
Where to watch: Watch it on Netflix
What we like about the character: One of television’s most powerful lawyers, Annalize Keating will go down as a memorable name in fictional lawyer history. In her own words, she is “A 53-year-old woman from Memphis, Tennessee named Anna Mae Harkness…ambitious, black, bisexual, angry, sad, strong, sensitive, scared, fierce, talented, exhausted.” As a teacher, Annalize is equally admired and feared by her students, judges, and opponents. One of the most prolific lawyers in the city of Philadelphia, Annalize has solved some of the most impossible cases and helped hundreds of people. But when she is involved in a murder, she chooses to cover it up with the help of her five best students. As more corpses pile up in their lives, Annalize chooses the difficult road to protect herself and her students, no matter what. From making life-threatening decisions to betrayal, more deaths, legal cover-ups, and dangerous liaisons, Annalize continues to dominate the endless maze of law enforcement, even if it makes her corrupt.
Patty Hewes – Damage
Played by: Glenn Close
First appeared on:damage Season 1, Episode 1
Where to watch: Watch it on Hulu
What we like about the character: She is often described as “ruthless, master manipulative and brilliant”, all wrapped up in one personality. Meet Patricia “Patty” C. Hewes, a high-stakes litigator and partner at her own law firm, Hewes & Associates. The daughter of a judge with an abusive childhood, Patty has never shied away from being unscrupulous and dedicates her life to weeding out those who abuse their power and position, even if it means becoming one of them. ‘between them. Thus, Patty’s professional personality remains in a moral gray area. She will stop at nothing to win her cases, including betraying her allies or befriending her enemies and sacrificing innocent people along the way. His cruelty, however, is not limited to his enemies. She is known to betray her friends and family, alienate those who come close to her, double-cross people, and even threaten the lives of those who oppose her goals.
Alan Shore – The Firm / Boston Legal
Played by: James Spader
First appeared on:The practiceSeason 8, Episode 1 “We The People”
Where to watch: Watch both series on Hulu
What we like about the character: Alan Shore is an attorney and counsel at Crane, Poole, & Schmidt. He is brilliant with a strong moral code. However, he would not hesitate to use unethical means for ethical purposes, such as illicit liaisons, hacking, blackmail, or bribery, which are just tools that Alan uses without hesitation. At the same time, he would tirelessly defend the underdog. Although he loves his job, he is very disenchanted with the country’s legal system and yet uses his methods to circumvent it. Whether it’s annoying his opposing counsel, harassing witnesses, or even insulting judges and others in the courtroom, Alan Shore is a much hated character. He’s everything you wouldn’t imagine a legal professional to be, but he’s also someone who can also be admired for his wit and the clever methods he uses to save his clients.
Billy McBride – Goliath
Played by: Billy Bob Thorton
First appeared on:Goliath Season 1, Episode 1, “Of Mice and Men”
Where to watch: Watch it on Prime Video
What we like about the character: William “Billy” McBride is the co-founder of the law firm Cooperman McBride. A failed attorney, Billy is known for taking on low-level criminal cases. Simply put, Billy isn’t your average crooked lawyer, constantly looking for unsavory methods to get what he wants. He’s exceptional at his job, but after a suspect is released and goes on a killing spree, Billy loses his mojo and becomes an alcoholic. More than a corrupt professional, he primarily struggles with alcoholism and mental health and spends more time in a bar than in a courtroom. But when he puts his mind to work, he’s remarkable and due to his life choices, he also knows a thing or two to get things done in a questionable way but with good intentions.
Played by: Manuel Garcia Rulfo
First appeared on: Lincoln’s lawyer Season 1, Episode 1 “He Rides Again”
Where to watch: Watch it on Netflix
What we like about the character: A seasoned lawyer working in a sleek, blue Lincoln Town Car is nothing like what you’d expect of a lawyer. That’s why Mickey Haller is nothing like your average lawyer. He is a popular defense attorney in Los Angeles and comes from a long line of attorneys. He is also the half-brother of the famous LAPD detective, harry bosch. Along with all the swagger of his car and personality, Mickey, or as they call him “Lincoln’s Lawyer,” has conflicting opinions about the legal system and criminals. For example, he vehemently opposes the idea of the death penalty, and feels that it is not a mark of being an “enlightened society”. On the other hand, he is known to take on cases and defend clients who are actually guilty. Mickey doesn’t care if his clients are innocent or guilty, he takes on cases that intrigue and challenge him, regardless of moral code or expected outcome.
Harvey Specter – Suits
Played by: Gabriel Macht
First appeared on: Season 1, Episode 1
Where to watch: Watch it on Prime Video
What we like about the character: Harvey Specter is the sharpest and most charismatic lawyer New York City has seen in a long time. But he has a reputation as the “best closest to New York” and is much hated for “being right all the time”. A cheerful charmer, Harvey is persuasive and extremely determined, especially when trying to convince someone or win a case. It also means that his professional qualities do not translate into a satisfying social life. To win his lawsuits, Harvey would do anything and everything in his ability and/or the city can offer. His unconventional methods often include coercion, bribery, bluffing and pulling the strings of influential and powerful social circles which he assures remain beholden to him. But Harvey is not without integrity either. In fact, he never tampers with evidence or witnesses and despises lawyers who do. The highlight of Harvey’s professional life is Mike Ross, a prodigy he discovered, mentored and made his partner, who became his most trusted ally.