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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  1. 1
    + 184
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    Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    the people's #1
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Mariska Hargitay, Christopher Meloni, Ice-T

  2. 2
    + 157
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    Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    most listed
    Law & Order Jerry Orbach, Jesse L. Martin, Dennis Farina

  3. 3
    + 250
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    Suits is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    Suits Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Meghan Markle

  4. 4
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    The Practice is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    The Practice Dylan McDermott, Kelli Williams, Lara Flynn Boyle

  5. 5
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    Boston Legal is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Boston Legal James Spader, William Shatner, Candice Bergen

  6. 6
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    L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    L.A. Law Corbin Bernsen, Jill Eikenberry, Alan Rachins

  7. 7
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    The Good Wife is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    ranked low on reranks
    The Good Wife Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles

  8. 8
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    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. 9
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    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. 10
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    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. 11
    + 75
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    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. 12
    + 39
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    Judging Amy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Judging Amy Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly, Karle Warren

  13. 13
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    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. 14
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    Damages is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Damages Glenn Close, Rose Byrne, Tate Donovan

  15. 15
    + 60
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    Franklin & Bash is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Franklin & Bash Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Breckin Meyer, Reed Diamond

  16. 16
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    Law & Order: LA is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Law & Order: LA Corey Stoll, Rachel Ticotin, Alfred Molina

  17. 17
    + 30
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    Picket Fences is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    added by ScottChupack
    Picket Fences Kathy Baker, Tom Skerritt, Lauren Holly

  18. 18
    + 38
    - 70
    Law & Order: Trial by Jury is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Law & Order: Trial by Jury Bebe Neuwirth, Amy Carlson, Kirk Acevedo

  19. 19
    + 31
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    The Defenders is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    The Defenders Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall

  20. 20
    + 32
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    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. 21
    + 35
    - 64
    The Guardian is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    The Guardian Simon Baker, Alan Rosenberg, Raphael Sbarge

  22. 22
    + 26
    - 51
    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. 23
    + 34
    - 71
    Fairly Legal is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Fairly Legal Sarah Shahi, Michael Trucco, Virginia Williams

  24. 25
    + 21
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    Homicide: Life on the Street is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by Rumblefish61
    Homicide: Life on the Street Richard Belzer, Clark Johnson, Yaphet Kotto

  25. 26
    + 38
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    Revenge is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time

    ranked low on reranks & added by d.raphael2011
    Revenge Madeleine Stowe, Emily VanCamp, Gabriel Mann

  26. 27
    + 9
    - 20
    Pickett Fences is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Pickett Fences Craig Richards

  27. 28
    + 15
    - 67
    The New Adventures of Perry Ma... is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    The New Adventures of Perry Mason Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Monte Markham

  28. 29
    + 16
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    No image


    Law & Order UK

  29. 30
    + 7
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    Raising the Bar is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time


    Raising the Bar

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