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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!

The Best Serial Legal Dramas of All Time TV Programs
  • 11 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 160
    - 76

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

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  2. 2
    + 136
    - 68

    most listed
    Angie Harmon, Jill Hennessy, Dianne Wiest

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  3. 3
    + 210
    - 75

    ranked low on reranks
    Gina Torres, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  4. 4
    + 132
    - 76


    Julie Bowen, William Shatner, Lake Bell

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  5. 5
    + 105
    - 67


    James Spader, Rhona Mitra, Chyler Leigh

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  6. 6
    + 138
    - 58

    ranked low on reranks
    Julianna Margulies, Alan Cumming, Christine Baranski Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  7. 7
    + 83
    - 87


    Susan Dey, Jimmy Smits, Blair Underwood

    ; buy at  
  8. 8
    + 63
    - 55


    Raymond Burr, Barbara Hale, Richard Anderson

    ; watch now
  9. 9
    + 85
    - 61


    Catherine Bell, David James Elliott, Trevor Goddard Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  10. 10
    + 89
    - 79


    Hayden Panettiere, Robert Downey Jr., Lucy Liu

    ; watch now
  11. 11
    + 60
    - 53


    Andy Griffith, Linda Purl, Daniel Roebuck

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  12. 12
    + 55
    - 64


    Malcolm McDowell, Jason Alexander, Danny Trejo

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  13. 13
    + 34
    - 63


    Amy Brenneman, Tyne Daly, Columbus Short

    ; buy at  
  14. 14
    + 42
    - 65


    Kathy Bates, Brittany Snow, Christopher McDonald

    ; watch now
  15. 15
    + 55
    - 61


    Rose Byrne, Glenn Close, Ryan Phillippe

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  16. 16
    + 38
    - 51


    Kristin Kreuk, Alfred Molina, Terrence Howard

    ; watch now
  17. 17
    + 33
    - 56


    Bebe Neuwirth, Jerry Orbach, Fred Thompson

    ; watch now
  18. 18
    + 30
    - 55


    Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Robert Duvall

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  19. 19
    + 24
    - 48

    added by ScottChupack
    Don Cheadle, Lauren Holly, Holly Marie Combs

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  20. 20
    + 25
    - 56


    Natasha Henstridge, Jonny Lee Miller, Loretta Devine

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  21. 21
    + 29
    - 54


    Simon Baker, Dabney Coleman, Wendy Moniz Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial

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  22. 22
    + 32
    - 62


    Sarah Shahi, Richard Dean Anderson, Michael Trucco

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  23. 23
    + 21
    - 42


    Brittany Murphy, Stanley Tucci, Patricia Clarkson

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  24. 25
    + 14
    - 58

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Harry Guardino, Dane Clark, Monte Markham

    ; buy at  
  25. 26
    + 13
    - 30
    No image


    Law & Order UK

  26. 27
    + 28
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks & added by d.raphael2011
    Emily VanCamp, Madeleine Stowe, Amber Valletta

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  27. 28
    + 12
    - 17

    ranked low on reranks & added by Rumblefish61
    Elijah Wood, Alfre Woodard, Vincent D'Onofrio

    ; buy at  
  28. 29
    + 3
    - 14


    Craig Richards

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  29. 30
    + 7
    - 13

    added by d.raphael2011
    Jennifer Morrison, Jamie Chung, Ginnifer Goodwin

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  30. 31
    + 6
    - 26


    Raising the Bar

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