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Best Seasons of 'Law & Order'

Updated June 2, 2020 1.1k votes 202 voters 10.8k views20 items

List RulesVote for your favorite seasons of Law & Order

It's such a great series, so let's rank every season of Law & Order from best to worst. In case you're not familiar with the iconic legal drama series, Law & Order is a 1-hour procedural crime show. During the first half of the show, it focuses on a group of NYPD detectives who investigate crimes. During the second half, it follows the process of the DA's office as it brings the criminal under investigation to justice. Throughout various seasons of Law & Order, you'll get a look at a huge variety of cases, the offenders who commit them, and the sometimes complex wheels of justice in motion. 

If you've been a long term fan of Law & Order, then come on in and vote for your favorite seasons in order to help determine which ones are the best. If you're new to the world of Law & Order, then here you'll find a brief overview of each season as well as find out which seasons fans consider the best. If you're a seasoned veteran, you can find something fresh to watch over on our list of other great shows like Law & Order.

  • Photo: NBC

    Law & Order - Season 8

    The eighth season of Law & Order premiered on September 24, 1997 and contains 24 episodes. This season features no cast changes, but lots of new cases including a murder that may lead to a case involving judicial misconduct and the murder of a psychologist that may be linked to a complex divorce case. 

    This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Damage," "Under the Influence," and "Blood." 

    Memorable moments from Season 8 include:

    • The DA's office plans to seek the death penalty for a cop killer, but things get more complicated when it turns out the killer found religion while incarcerated.
    • Two punks are discovered to have murdered a random stranger, simply for the thrill.
    • A victim's doctor is suspected of being behind her murder in order to sell her organs. 
      Great season?
    • Photo: NBC

      Law & Order - Season 9

      The ninth season of Law & Order premiered on September 23, 1998 and contains 24 episodes. This season, Angie Harmon joins the cast as ADA Abbie Carmichael who replaces Jamie Ross. Some of this season's cases involve the death of a fertility clinic worker and the murder of an officer at a women's prison. 

      This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Tabula Rasa," "Refugee: Part 1," and "Refugee: Part 2."

      Memorable moments from Season 9 include:

      • White police officers are investigated in the possible death of an African American man.
      • The only witness in a murder by the Russian mob is a 10-year-old boy who is afraid to testify.
      • McCoy feels forced to defy Schiff in the course of prosecuting a trial.
        Great season?
      • Photo: NBC

        Law & Order - Season 4

        The fourth season of Law & Order premiered on September 15, 1993 and contains 22 episodes. Anita Van Buren and ADA Claire Kincaid join the cast of characters this season, as the teams investigate and prosecute crimes ranging from a mail bombing to an assault on a tennis player.

        This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Profile," "American Dream," and "Old Friends." 

        Memorable moments from Season 4 include:

        • The investigators use a profiler to help catch a racist serial killer.
        • The lawyer of a 14-year-old boy tries to argue that his client is not responsible for a murder because he has an extra Y chromosome and is genetically predisposed to violence.
        • Kincaid faces charges for not revealing the extent of her past with a suspect. 
          Great season?
        • Photo: NBC

          Law & Order - Season 3

          The third season of Law & Order premiered on September 23, 1992 and contains 22 episodes. This season sees the return of most of the characters in season two, although Phil Cerreta is replaced with Senior Detective Lennie Briscoe mid-way through the season.

          This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Helpless," "Prince of Darkness," and "Manhood." 

          Memorable moments from Season 3 include:

          • A jewelry dealer claims self-defense when he kills two robbers, but his deeper motives soon come under suspicion.
          • A mother confesses to murdering her drug-addicted daughter over money.
          • An investigation reveals that a slain officer's fellow cops may be partially responsible for his death. 
            Great season?