Survey: 'L.A. Law' Nostalgic Favorite for Lawyers; Most Say Legal TV Shows Glamorize Profession or Are Too Far-Fetched

MENLO PARK, Calif., May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- "L.A. Law" was credited for driving up law school enrollment more than 20 years ago, and the television program remains a sentimental favorite within the legal community, a new Robert Half Legal survey finds. When lawyers were asked to name their all-time favorite legal TV show, nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents cited "L.A. Law," the award-winning legal drama that aired from 1986-1994. The runners-up were "Law & Order," with 16 percent of the survey response, and "Boston Legal" (13 percent). Twenty percent of lawyers interviewed said they have no favorite legal show.

When asked to describe how they feel the entertainment industry portrays the legal profession, 31 percent of lawyers said Hollywood glamorizes it, while 28 percent said the depictions are too far-fetched. Just 2 percent of lawyers felt that the small screen accurately depicts the legal world.

Lawyers were asked, "Which of the following, if any, would you say is your favorite legal TV show of all time?" Their responses:

L.A. Law


Law & Order


Boston Legal


The Good Wife


Perry Mason


Ally McBeal




None/don't have a favorite legal TV show


Don't know/no answer



Lawyers were also asked, "Which best describes your feelings about how these TV shows depict the legal profession?" Their responses:

Glamorizes the profession


Too far-fetched


Misrepresents the law


Accurate/fairly accurate


Hits too close to home


None/no feeling about TV shows' depiction of the legal profession


Other/don't know/can't choose just one



"There's no denying that pop culture influences people's perceptions of lawyers," said Charles Volkert, executive director of Robert Half Legal. "While some legal shows have glamorized the lives of attorneys, the TV industry also has helped to demystify the legal profession and make it more accessible. And beyond providing entertainment, these shows also have motivated many individuals to pursue legal careers."

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a premier legal staffing firm specializing in the placement of lawyers, paralegals and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 350 telephone interviews with lawyers at law firms and companies in the United States and Canada.

About Robert Half Legal
Robert Half Legal is the legal staffing division of Robert Half. The company provides law firms and corporate legal departments with highly skilled professionals, including lawyers, paralegals and legal support personnel, on a project and full-time basis. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal also offers managed review and e-discovery services. More information, including online job search services, can be found at For career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at

SOURCE Robert Half Legal


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