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Are Lawyers No Longer TV/Film Heroes?

By George Khoury, Esq. on November 09, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

From a lawyer's perspective, watching actors portray the profession has gone from frustrating to even worse. Especially when The Grinder got cancelled. (Seriously, who's in charge of these things?)

Not only are lawyers routinely cast in roles where deceit and trickery are shown to just be part of the job or their personalities (see Better Call Saul or Billions), but there seems to be a voracious thirst for stories about lawyers falling from grace. Heck, even the DA's are flubbing cases from time to time on Law and Order these days.

What Happened to the Prime-Time Lawyer Heroes?

While James McGill might be the guy many of us are rooting for, most are not sure what he's really up to. We want him to be a good guy, but the series definitely isn't going in that direction. And if one sad trend is any indication of what the legal drama viewing public wants, it's not legal comedies, as these just seem to get cancelled.

In addition to The Grinder, and despite being hilarious, Trial and Error has not been renewed for a third season, and that had John Lithgow in it. Why don't people want to laugh with lawyers?

Big Screen, Big Drama

As a recent ABA Journal article suggests, lawyers on the big screen have gone from righteous heroes to damaged figures who are "wanting and guilty." When it comes to the big screen, lawyers in recent years have been mostly depicted as corrupt, while other professions seem to step into the role of righteous hero, such as news reporters, journalists, cops, or comic book heroes.

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