The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time TV Programs
Ultimate List
2,316 votes 23,798 views more info

The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

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).

Time to vote, or even to rerank this list your way. Enjoy!
  • 9 ReRanks
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 117
    Down 49

    the people's #1 & most listed Sharon Stone, Mariska Hargitay, Ann-Margret

    open
  2. 2
    Up 96
    Down 46

    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Michael Moriarty

    open
  3. 3
    Up 95
    Down 45

    William Shatner, Julie Bowen, Lake Bell

    open
  4. 4
    Up 59
    Down 59

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood

    open
  5. 5
    Up 80
    Down 47

    Rhona Mitra, James Spader, Lara Flynn Boyle

    open
  6. 6
    Up 136
    Down 46

    ranked low on reranks Gina Torres, Meghan Markle, Gabriel Macht

    open
  7. 7
    Up 44
    Down 39

    often listed Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, Richard Anderson

    open
  8. 8
    Up 88
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks Julianna Margulies, Alan Cumming, Archie Panjabi

    open
  9. 9
    Up 61
    Down 41

    Catherine Bell, David James Elliott, Trevor Goddard

    open
  10. 10
    Up 69
    Down 54

    Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

    open
  11. 11
    Up 37
    Down 41

    Brittany Snow, Kathy Bates, Christopher McDonald

    open
  12. 12
    Up 40
    Down 37

    Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Daniel Roebuck

    open
  13. 13
    Up 39
    Down 36

    Rose Byrne, Glenn Close, Timothy Olyphant

    open
  14. 14
    Up 45
    Down 39

    Jason Alexander, Malcolm McDowell, Garcelle Beauvais

    open
  15. 15
    Up 23
    Down 41

    Amy Brenneman, Columbus Short, Tyne Daly

    open
  16. 16
    Up 24
    Down 34

    Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman, William Shatner

    open
  17. 17
    Up 17
    Down 27

    added by ScottChupack Don Cheadle, Lauren Holly, Marlee Matlin

    open
  18. 18
    Up 21
    Down 32

    Natasha Henstridge, Jonny Lee Miller, Victor Garber

    open
  19. 19
    Up 22
    Down 37

    Bebe Neuwirth, Jerry Orbach, Fred Thompson

    open
  20. 20
    Up 29
    Down 32

    Kristin Kreuk, Terrence Howard, Danielle Panabaker

    open
  21. 21
    Up 23
    Down 32

    Simon Baker, Dabney Coleman, Alan Rosenberg

    open
  22. 22
    Up 17
    Down 19

    Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson

    open
  23. 23
    Up 25
    Down 40

    Sarah Shahi, Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Trucco

    open
  24. 24
    Up 11
    Down 36

    Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Brett Somers

    open
  25. 25
    Up 13
    Down 38

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Eric Balfour, Anson Mount, Stephanie March

    open
  26. 26
    Up 14
    Down 21

    added by d.raphael2011 Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Amber Valletta

    open
27 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists