It is a question that has divided law offices and torn apart friendships. Who is the best fictional lawyer of all-time?
And now we have the technology to answer the age old question in the most democratic way possible – an NCAA-BuzzFeed style tournament.
Round 3: The sweet-sixteen or where your favourites go to die.
It has been a hard fought battle to get here. Jack McCoy barely made it past his challengers – perhaps all of his off-screen wrongful convictions are coming back to haunt him. The Simpson’s Lionel Hutz and Blue-Haired Lawyer are dominating the cartoon category. Barry Zuckerkorn has had to fight to stay in contention despite his number 1 seed. And Atticus Finch is the only black and white lawyer remaining.
Forget who the fictional lawyer is? Click the links for a video reminder.
NOTE: if you want to submit a write-up for you semi-final campion to be included in the next round of voting please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Voting for this round closes on January 6th at 5pm.
Atticus Finch vs. Vinny Gambini
Atticus Finch fought a system of institutionalized racism in the 1962 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. He may carry come baggage following the publication of Go Set a Watchman in 2015. But there is no question Finch was a powerful voice for justice.
Vinny Gambini steps up to defend his cousin who is accused of murder. Except Vinny is a personal injury lawyer, newly admitted to the bar, and with no trial experience. He broke a dozen rules of professional conduct but he won the case.
Elle Woods vs. Joe Miller
Elle Woods might have gone to law school for a boy but she quickly demonstrates some serious legal chops and was able to exonerate a sorority sister accused of murder.
Joe Miller overcame his own prejudice and fear to take on the case of Andrew Beckett who was fired from his job after contracting AIDS.
Barry Zuckerkorn vs. Clair Huxtable
Barry Zuckerkorn is the Bluth family’s incompetent defence attorney. He may have had his own problems with the law but he always has a trick or two up his sleeve (“You can’t charge a husband and wife for the same crime.”)
Clair Huxtable has been a role model for a generation of female lawyers. As a high power lawyer and mother of five kids Clair is able to achieve a perfect work/life balance.
Marshall Eriksen vs. Sophia Perez
Marshall Eriksen is a lawyer of deep principle. He quit his job as a corporate lawyer at Goliath National Bank to pursue his dream of saving the world through environmental law. Marshall also coined the use of the word “Lawyered” whenever he makes a point in an argument.
Sophia Perez is a New York City criminal defence lawyer who finds herself entangled in a relationship with man-child police officer Jake Peralta.
Lionel Hutz vs. Harvey Birdman
Lionel Hutz is a consummate professional. A master of continuing legal eductions, “Mr. Simpson, don’t you worry. I watched Matlock in a bar last night. The sound wasn’t on, but I think I got the gist of it.” and court room tactics, “Don’t worry, Homer. I have a fool proof strategy to get you out of here: surprise witnesses, each more surprising than the last. I tell you, the judge won’t know what hit him!” There is a reason why Hutz is the number one seed.
Harvey T. Birdman of Birdman and the Galaxy Trio is an attorney working for a law firm alongside other cartoon stars from 1960s and 1970s Hanna-Barbera cartoon series. When Shaggy and Scooby-Doo need a lawyer after a big drug bust Harvey Birdmanis the go-to lawyer.
Harvey Dent vs. Blue-Hired Lawyer
Harvey Dent is a handsome young District Attorney but a mobster throws acid in his face during a trial, scarring half his face. Driven insane by his reflection, he renames himself Two-Face and goes on a crime spree, deciding with a flip of his lucky coin whether to break the law or perform acts of charity.
Blue-Haired Lawyer, is Springfield’s most prominent lawyer known for his pasty face, blue hair, New York accent, and nasal voice.
Claire Kincaid vs. Sam Seaborn
Claire Kincaid is an idealistic, outspoken feminist and agnostic who becomes increasingly disillusioned with her job. She is vocally pro-choice, opposes the death penalty, and has ambivalent feelings about drug prohibition. Sounds like a great ADA.
Sam Seaborn’s trademark — both his greatest strength and greatest flaw — is his unflinching idealism. His unwavering faith in and love for the American political process and the positive impact that government can have in its citizens’ lives define his character. Sam believes in doing the right thing simply because it is right, even when the consequences might be politically disastrous.
Alicia Florrick vs. Jack McCoy
Alicia Florrick was a junior associate at the firm Crozier, Abrams & Abbott, where she had the highest number of billable hours for any associate. Sometime during her job, she met and eventually married Peter Florrick, who was at the time the Cook County State’s Attorney. After her two children were born, she left work to be a stay-at-home mother and a good political wife. But Alicia returned to the courtroom to support her family after a sex-tape disgraced her husband.
Jack McCoy quickly established himself as a more unconventional, ruthless litigator. He often bends—and sometimes breaks—trial rules to get convictions, finds tenuous rationales for charging defendants with crimes when the original charges fail to stick, and charges innocent people to frighten them into testifying against others. McCoy has been found in contempt of court 80 times for such behavior, and his tactics occasionally incur negative publicity for the DA’s office.
And with that round 3 is done. Check back on January 6th to vote in the semi-finals!