tv 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).

Time to vote, or even to rerank this list your way. Enjoy!

1
+ - 226 122
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

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2
+ - 192 108
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

3
+ - 299 113
Suits is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Suits Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

4
+ - 218 89
The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The Good Wife Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles

5
+ - 152 99
The Practice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The Practice Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle

6
+ - 180 113
Boston Legal is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Boston Legal James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

7
+ - 118 115
L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
L.A. Law Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

8
+ - 97 73
Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Perry Mason Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, William Hopper

9
+ - 118 83
JAG is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
JAG David James Elliott, Catherine Bell, Patrick Labyorteaux

10
+ - 107 109
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Ally McBeal Calista Flockhart, Greg Germann, Jane Krakowski

11
+ - 90 76
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Matlock Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Kene Holiday

12
+ - 80 85
Damages is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Damages Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan

13
+ - 55 89
Harry's Law is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Harry's Law Kathy Bates, Nate Corddry, Christopher McDonald

14
+ - 70 90
Franklin & Bash is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Franklin & Bash Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer, Reed Diamond

15
+ - 44 89
Judging Amy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Judging Amy Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly, Karle Warren

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16
+ - 45 84
Law & Order: Trial by Jury is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Law & Order: Trial by Jury Bebe Neuwirth, Amy Carlson, Kirk Acevedo

17
+ - 44 73
The Guardian is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The Guardian Simon Baker, Alan Rosenberg, Raphael Sbarge

18
+ - 53 78
Law & Order: LA is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Law & Order: LA Corey Stoll, Rachel Ticotin, Alfred Molina

19
+ - 34 73
Picket Fences is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Picket Fences Kathy Baker, Tom Skerritt, Lauren Holly

20
+ - 35 78
Eli Stone is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Eli Stone Jonny Lee Miller, Natasha Henstridge, Loretta Devine

21
+ - 32 79
The Defenders is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The Defenders Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall

22
+ - 34 63
Murder One is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Murder One Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson

23
+ - 17 49
Conviction is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Conviction Hayley Atwell, Eddie Cahill, Shawn Ashmore

24
+ - 39 82
Fairly Legal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Fairly Legal Sarah Shahi, Michael Trucco, Virginia Williams

25
+ - 35 28
Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Homicide: Life on the Street Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto

26
+ - 21 74
The New Adventures of Perry Ma... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The New Adventures of Perry Mason Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Monte Markham

27
+ - 47 56
Revenge is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann

28
+ - 26 46
Law & Order UK is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Law & Order UK

29
+ - 11 30
Pickett Fences is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Pickett Fences Craig Richards

30
+ - 5 7
Shark is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Shark James Woods, Danielle Panabaker, Sophina Brown

31
+ - 2 6
The Defenders is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The Defenders Jim Belushi, Alona Tal, Jerry O'Connell

32
+ - 2 7
The D.A. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
The D.A. Harry Morgan, Robert Conrad, Ned Romero

33
+ - 1 6
Sam Benedict is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Sam Benedict Edmond O'Brien, Richard Rust, Joan Tompkins

34
+ - 1 7
Kaz is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Kaz Patrick O'Neal, Ron Leibman, nm0943927

35
+ - 1 7
Arrest and Trial is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
Arrest and Trial Ben Gazzara, Chuck Connors, Roger Perry

36
+ - 1 7
For the People is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time
For the People William Shatner, Martin Sheen, Jessica Walter