Lawyers on TV: Who’s Most Relatable?

By Robert Half July 3, 2017 at 10:22am

While legal dramas are plentiful on television, most law firms are nothing like those portrayed on the small screen. Do real-life lawyers actually relate to any of their TV counterparts?

According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half Legal, Jack McCoy, the Manhattan district attorney from “Law & Order,” is the fictional TV character lawyers relate to the most. Alicia Florrick from “The Good Wife” ranked second.

Lawyers were asked, “Which fictional lawyer on television do you identify with the most?”

Their responses:

Jack McCoy from “Law & Order”

18%

Alicia Florrick from “The Good Wife”

10%

Denny Crane from “Boston Legal”

7%

Perry Mason from “Perry Mason”

4%

Harvey Specter from “Suits”

3%

Ally McBeal from “Ally McBeal”

2%

Other

10%

None of the above/none at all

10%

Don’t know/can’t choose just one

35%

No answer

3%

*Total percentage does not equal 100 due to rounding.

Legal dramas, with their gripping plot lines, are enticing to many TV viewers, and real-life lawyers may also find these shows engaging, with their depiction of courtroom cases ripped from the headlines and robust character studies. While the scenarios depicted on these legal TV shows may often seem far-fetched, these series also have helped to demystify the legal process and make the legal profession seem more accessible.

When it comes to the TV versions of themselves, practicing lawyers may find they can relate to the determination and drive of Jack McCoy or the independence, intelligence and calm demeanor of Alicia Florrick. Interpersonal skills, business and legal knowledge, and a focus on client service are just a few of the skills that lawyers need in order to advance their careers and be effective leaders.

Observing fictional law offices is entertaining—but if you're ready to explore your career options in the real world of law, take a look at Robert Half Legal's job listings.

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