The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time TV Programs
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The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

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The best serial legal dramas of all time include some truly outstanding law-related TV shows. Many of the law dramas listed here have been, or were, on the air for many years, thrilling viewers with complicated and compelling legal cases and outcomes. This list includes a lot of fantastic legal dramas, but it is far from complete, so feel free to add your personal favorites. Also, be sure to vote for those legal dramas you believe are worthy of the "best all time" description, and vote down any law TV shows you just can't stand.

What makes for a great serial legal drama? The show needs to have interesting, popular characters, a solid script and excellent, fresh storylines. There's no doubt that TV viewers love their television lawyers -- Perry Mason (Raymond Burr), Patty Hewes (Glenn Close on 'Damages'), Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott on 'The Practice') and Ally McBeal (Calista Flockhart) are just a few notable examples.

Legal TV dramas tend to be very popular and long-running series. They may also cross over to include a certain amount of procedural crime drama as well. The best example of this is definitely the tremendously popular and successful 'Law & Order' franchise (think 'Law & Order: SVU' and 'Law & Order: Trial By Jury'). These shows combine both sides of the coin -- the cops who catch the criminals, and the lawyers who either defend, or prosecute them (insert dramatic "dum dum!" sound here).

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  Name
Score
  1. 1
    Up 83
    Down 27
    1999 More
    99
  2. 2
    Up 65
    Down 28

    the people's #1
    Law & Order

    1990 More
    94
  3. 3
    Up 42
    Down 35

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    L.A. Law

    1986 More
    81
  4. 4
    Up 52
    Down 30
    2004 More
    80
  5. 5
    Up 53
    Down 29

    ranked low on reranks
    The Practice

    1997 More
    79
  6. 6
    Up 45
    Down 24
    1995 More
    74
  7. 7
    Up 49
    Down 32

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ally McBeal

    1997 More
    73
  8. 8
    Up 62
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks
    Suits

    2011 More
    72
  9. 9
    Up 30
    Down 26

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Perry Mason

    1957 More
    70
  10. 10
    Up 49
    Down 25

    ranked low on reranks
    The Good Wife

    2009 More
    65
  11. 11
    Up 25
    Down 28

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Harry's Law

    2011 More
    58
  12. 12
    Up 31
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Matlock

    1986 More
    57
  13. 13
    Up 7
    Down 18

    ranked high on reranks
    Picket Fences

    1992 More
    55
    added by: ScottChupack
  14. 14
    Up 19
    Down 24
    1999 More
    54
  15. 15
    Up 31
    Down 28

    ranked low on reranks
    Franklin & Bash

    2011 More
    50
  16. 16
    Up 18
    Down 27

    ranked high on reranks
    The Defenders

    1961 More
    47
  17. 17
    Up 18
    Down 26

    ranked low on reranks
    Damages

    2007 More
    46
  18. 18
    Up 17
    Down 26

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Law & Order: Trial by Jury

    2005 More
    44
  19. 19
    Up 22
    Down 23

    ranked low on reranks
    Law & Order: LA

    2010 More
    44
  20. 20
    Up 14
    Down 23

    often listed
    Eli Stone

    2008 More
    43
  21. 21
    Up 19
    Down 26
    2011 More
    39
  22. 22
    Up 16
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks
    The Guardian

    2001 More
    36
  23. 23
    Up 9
    Down 27

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    The New Adventures of Perry Mason

    1973 More
    35
  24. 24
    Up 6
    Down 12

    ranked high on reranks
    Murder One

    1995 More
    34
  25. 25
    Up 11
    Down 27

    often listed
    Conviction

    2006 More
    33
  26. 26
    Up 5
    Down 6

    new! Revenge

    2011 More
    28
    added by: d.raphael2011
  27. 27
    Up 10
    Down 18
    No image

    about to drop off
    Law & Order UK

    24
  28. +Add New Item

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