Entertainment

The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History  

Ranker TV
Originally by
32.7k votes 3.6k voters 94.5k views 72 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite television attorneys

The best lawyers in TV history have made amateur litigators out of us all. (Admit it, you’ve raised an objection or two in Jack McCoy (Law and Order) fashion.) The greatest lawyers on TV have also skewed our sense of justice. (Didn’t we all want Saul Goodman (Breaking Bad) to escape to his waiting Cinnabon?) Finally, these famous TV lawyers have given us all the false hope that there’s a league of imminently competent, attractive and successful attorneys who spend half of their professional lives on pro bono cases.

In the hierarchy of great TV lawyers, there are those who always – or nearly always – get their man. These lawyers likely inspired other fictional barristers to take their LSATs. Perry Mason and Lawrence Preston (The Defenders) instilled a sense of admiration in our justice system. The bad guys always lose, the good guys always go free, and all it takes is one shrewd attorney on the case. Then, TV went Technicolor.

In the current TV landscape, good lawyers lose as often as they win, or use whatever leverage they have – jury tampering, judge blackmailing, witness murdering – to secure the verdict that most benefits their clients. These antics are amid the intrigues of soap-opera-esque sexcapades in and out of chambers.

Though the best sitcom TV lawyers rarely enjoy the same high-stakes games as the best drama TV lawyers, they still bring their work home with them, often in the form of mounting a case against an ill-equipped spouse, who suddenly finds him/herself on trial for eating the last slice of cheesecake. Upvote the top famous fictional lawyers below and keep them in mind next time you need to lawyer up.
list ordered by
1
Jack McCoy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Law & Order
2
Alexandra Cabot is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
3
Casey Novak is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
4
Ben Matlock is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Matlock
5
Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Perry Mason
6
Professor Annalise Keating is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Arlene Schulman added How to Get Away with Murder
7
Harvey Specter is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
qwno added Suits
8
Alan Shore is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Boston Legal
9
Marshall Eriksen is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
How I Met Your Mother
10
Saul Goodman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Breaking Bad
11
Will Truman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Will & Grace
12
Gomez Addams is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
The Addams Family
13
Denny Crane is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Boston Legal
14
Clair Huxtable is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
The Cosby Show
15
Alicia Florrick is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
The Good Wife
16
Sarah MacKenzie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
17
Jessica Pearson is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
kosior.aleksandra added Suits
18
Claire Kincaid is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Jim Marshall added
19
Harmon Rabb is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
20
Diane Lockhart is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Elliot May added The Good Wife
21
Dan Fielding is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Dan Fielding Night Court
22
Bobby Donnell is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
The Practice
23
Jane Bingum is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Drop Dead Diva
24
Ally McBeal is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
Ally, Ally McBeal
25
Will Gardner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Lawyer Characters in TV History
The Good Wife