Monday, April 21, 2014

Lawyers Then and Now

A few months ago, I endured the polar vortex by binge watching a TV series I had missed while watching the White Sox, Bulls, et al.  One of my favorites was "The Practice", a lawyer show from the late '90's.  The plot revolved around a criminal defense firm struggling to pay its bills because so many of its clients were the poor and middle class who needed dedicated legal help . . . which they got.  It was riviting.

Last week I came across another TV lawyer show: "Suits."  The lawyers in this one are busy serving their "one percent" clients when they aren't fighting Darwinian battles among themselves. The penthouse offices -- all glass and steel --  are as cold as the "take no prisoners" personalities and plots on display.  Watch it for the dialogue, the wit, the audacity.

But, feel with me a little sad about how --  in TV lawyer land --  the ideals of "The Practice" gave way to the conquering  "Suits."


  1. Joan - You know Granddad Landis began what is now probably the oldest continuing law firm in the state of Florida and he was State Attorney General until his death in 1938. Neither he nor my father, who continued the firm, ever advertised other than to be listed in the yellow pages under Attorneys at Law in the phone book. It was considered unseemly for that generation. Today, every other commercial on TV in Florida has some law firm asking questions, suggesting you can get big bucks if you will hire them to solve whatever problem you might encounter. Sue! Sue! Sue! What was once considered a distiguished career choice has now been diminished to a disgusting money-grubbing occupation that has tarnished the public face of Law as it once was.

  2. The Good Wife is a very good show about the law and lawyers. I watched Suits once and didn't think it was very good. House of Lies on Showtime is ostensibly about management consultants--but it's not very good and it's certainly not about management consulting. If it was, I'd watch it.

  3. Loved your insight into today's Tv. Emptiness, lack of depth, etc. look at Mad Men - just jumping around from clip to clip. Sooo disjointed.
    Looking forward to seeing you soon. Jean

  4. You are absolutely on target about "The Practice". I hardly ever missed this program. It was truly invigorating and inspiring to see how the lawyers on that show truly cared about and agonized over the welfare of their clients who needed them. The one time that I tuned into "Suits", I found it shallow and vapid. To find integrity in the law practice today, I look to Mike Papantonio of "Ring of Fire" and "Southern Poverty Law Center" for inspiration.