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Top Legal Dramas Roundup
Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Whether it’s the classic “Law & Order,” Emmy award-winner Viola Davis in “How to Get Away with Murder,” or decades-old "Perry Mason," one thing about television audiences has remained the same over the years: they love legal dramas. What’s the primary appeal to these telling tales that hasn’t caused them to get old over the years? (These Loveland lawyers and Cincinnati attorneys feel that lawyers in the spotlight isn't getting tiresome, anyway.) For the countless legal dramas that have graced the small screen, it’s most likely that they all wind up battling it out in the courtroom.

The turmoil and theatrics behind legal dramas can draw audiences on their scandalous cases more so than cases about business law, tax law, and business litigation. Estate planning doesn’t typically call for a courtroom legal battle. But even though our team of Cincinnati business lawyers, Loveland tax attorneys, and estate planning attorneys don’t share the spotlight on television, we do have a few favorite legal dramas that we indulge in, and even a film or two that have appeared on the silver screen.

Following in the footsteps of the American Bar Association’s “ABA Journal,” which, in honor of turning 100 this year, listed some of their favorite representations of lawyers in film since 1915, Wolterman Law Office lists a few memorable legal dramas — with a film or two to keep the list well-rounded.

5. “Suits” (2011)
A relatively new show (especially compared to the others featured on this list), “Suits” shows a somewhat new side to legal dramas. Sadly, this is yet another show that doesn’t focus on tax law or business attorneys, but it does show the audience that while the main character of Mike is smart and knows about the law, but just because you know about one area of the law doesn’t mean you know everything.

4. “Boston Legal” (2004-2008)
A spinoff of “The Practice,” this legal drama makes the list because it has one difference than these other shows and attorneys featured in films: these lawyers focused on civil cases rather than criminal ones. Yes, some legal dramas do focus on civil cases, but the majority of shows on-air now tend to focus on crime. However, this legal drama may not be the best one to showcase what it means to be a lawyer — main character attorney Alan Shore used some ... eccentric and highly unethical methods to solve civil cases.

3. “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)
OK, this film isn’t specifically about attorneys. However, Scout’s father, defense attorney Atticus Finch, changed the way people looked at lawyers. Instead of being portrayed as idiots or mouthpieces (and even ambulance chasers), Atticus Finch was a voice of reason and truth. Though not a legal drama, Finch inspired a whole new generation of individuals to become lawyers.

2.  “Matlock” (1986-1995)
Having almost a decade-long run, criminal defense attorney Ben Matlock won over the hearts of audiences for several reason. Andy Griffith portrayed the lawyer, and his character solved crimes like one of Hollywood’s most famed lawyers … Perry Mason.

1.  “Perry Mason” (1957-1966)
What makes Mr. Mason so memorable isn’t that his entire run was filmed in black-and-white, but that this legal drama was the tipping point for the countless others to come. Another defense attorney, Perry Mason showed several Americans what being an attorney meant. Granted, Perry Mason wasn’t a business lawyer or tax attorney, it showed audiences a glimpse at an attorney’s duty. However, Perry Mason’s cases weren’t entirely original to television; this legal drama was based on author Erle Stanley Gardner’s popular mystery novels, featuring Perry Mason. Gardner himself was a lawyer.





 
 
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Wolterman Law Office LPA provides legal counsel for clients in Hamilton County, Warren County, Clermont County and Butler County in Southwest Ohio, including communities such as Loveland, Cincinnati, Mason, West Chester, Blue Ash and Milford.
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