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.
AGP’s top legal minds have spent the last few weeks compiling a exhaustive list of fictional lawyers. And now we make them battle. Yes, your favourite lawyer may not have made the cut – but that is a reflection of your poor taste, not ours. Our list is comprehensive and complete.
The four lawyer brackets are: cartoon, hour-long drama, movies, and sitcoms. The winners of each category will face off for the title of ALL-TIME BEST FICTIONAL LAWYER.
What qualities does the best fictional lawyer possess? Maybe they display realistic courtroom skills. Perhaps they carry the TV show or movie. Maybe they charismatic and charming. But there is no 3-part functional and objective test to be employed here. It is totally up to you.
And yes, as some have pointed out, a few of these lawyers are real people – but lets pretend they are not and judge them based on their depiction in film. Because seriously, if you are famous enough to be depicted in a movie that good enough for us.
Forget who the fictional lawyer is? Click the links for a video reminder.
This week movie lawyers and sitcom lawyers will face off and the winners of the head-to-head battles will advance to the second round. Make sure to check back next week to vote in the second part of the first round where cartoon and hour-long drama will do battle.
Voting for this round closes on December 9th at 5pm
Atticus Finch vs. Michael Clayton
Atticus Finch fought a system of institutionalized racism in the 1962 film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Although Finch is the number 1 seed in the movie category 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.
Michael Clayton is a “fixer” for a prestigious New York City law firm, using his connections and knowledge of legal loopholes for clients’ benefit.
Charles W. Kingsfield vs. Lesra Martin
Charles Kingsfield is a highly respected and feared professor of contracts at Harvard Law School. Every law student goes into first year having watched The Paper Case and dreading Kingsfields famous use of the Socratic method.
Lesra Martin attend Dalhousie Universit’sy law school and is most famous for securing the release of Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter in 1985 after he served almost 20 years in prison. Canadian content!
Lt. Daniel Kaffee vs. Reggie Love
Lt. Daniel Kaffee, a son of a US attorney, has the legal pedigree and the courtroom skills to back it up. The only way he could win his biggest case was to take a run at a high ranking officer on the witness stand. You want answers?! I want the truth!
Regina “Reggie” Love, is a lawyer specializing in child abuse cases, who agreed to represent Mark Sway – a kid the the mob wanted to silence. And she did it for a token retainer of one dollar.
Henry Drummond vs. Vinny Gambini
In a small Southern town, a school teacher, Bertram Cates, is about to stand trial. His offense: teaching evolution. Henry Drummond takes on the unpopular cases and challenges the status quo in the Scoops “Monkey” trial.
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.
Mitch McDeere vs. Mick Haller
Mitch McDeere is a highly sought-after, cocky, ambitious young Harvard law school grad who is seduced by the money and perks the firm offers. Little did he know that the firm is part of the Morolto crime family.
Mick Haller prefers to work out of his Lincoln Town Car (with NTGUILTY licence plates) instead of an office. Haller is a true criminal defence lawyer who takes on big cases and also works pro bono.
Elle Woods vs. Martin Vail
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.
Martin Vail, a Chicago defense attorney, believed that his altar boy client was not guilty of murdering an influential Catholic Archbishop. He was really really wrong.
Joe Miller vs. Hans Rolfe
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.
Passionate defense attorney Hans Rolfe had the impossible task of defending the four German judges on trial for war crimes.
Erin Brockovich vs. Jake Brigance.
OK, OK, OK Erin Brockovich is not a lawyer. She is a law clerk. But despite her lack of formal education in the law she was instrumental in building a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and kicking some legal butt.
After his ten-year-old daughter is raped a father takes matter into his own hands and kills the the assailants but accidentally injuries a police officer. Jake Brigance defended his client in the best traditions of the profession in a racial charged trial.
Barry Zuckerkorn vs. Ted Buckland
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.”)
Ted Buckland has clammy hands, a sweaty brow, and a bald head. He was an incompetent lawyer but now spends his time playing guitar in Hawaii – so he must have done something right.
Bob Loblaw vs. Jackie Chiles
Bob Loblaw is a no-nonsense attorney who is always in the company of his stenographer secretary. He also has a great law blog.
Jackie Chiles is a bespectacled, mustachioed, well-dressed, lawyer with penchants for grandiose vocabulary. He is most famous for his representation of Kramer in a series of personal injury cases.
Clair Huxtable vs. Charlie Kelly
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.
Charlie Kelly may be illiterate but he seems convinced that he is an adept lawyer. This is shown by his interest in “bird law”, Law & Order, and handling any legal matter that the gang runs into.
Dan Fielding vs. Will Truman
Dan Fielding, is an assistant district attorney in the Manhattan Municipal Court. He is a sex-obsessed narcissistic who would not last a second in the #MeToo era.
Will Truman attended NYU School of law and was on track to make partner, but decided to quit and start his own practice. He also has worked at the Coalition of Justice, a business providing legal support for marginalized and impoverished clients.
Marshall Eriksen vs. Maggie Lizer
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.
Maggie Lizer is a defense attorney and pathological liar who was known for being blind. Although she has her vision, Maggie found that acting blind helped her cheat on her Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) and helped her in the courtroom.
Jeff Winger vs. Gomez Addams
Jeff Winger was a very successful defense attorney specializing in DUI/DWAI/DUID cases, traffic offenses, and juvenile crimes until his fraudulent academic credentials were exposed. He then enrolled in Greendale Community College and is now a professor at the school.
Gomez Addams is the patriarch of The Addams Family. Gomez is an athletic, acrobatic, and eccentric multi-billionaire. He is also an attorney,
Sophia Perez vs. Alice De Raey
Sophia Perez is a New York City criminal defence lawyer who finds herself entangled in a relationship with man-child police officer Jake Peralta
Alice De Raey is a Toronto criminal lawyer who works primarily at the Old City Hall courthouse. She sometimes feels out of her depth (we all sometimes do) as she compassionately navigates the criminal justice system
Christine Sullivan vs. Greg Montgomery
Christine Sullivan is a Public Defender in Manhattan Municipal Court. Sullivan is sometimes honest to a fault and somewhat naïve but in her battles with Dan Fielding she always comes out on top.
Greg Montgomery is a hard-working and serious lawyer. He also married Dharma on their first date and somehow manages to keep sane.
And with that round one (part 1) is done. Check back on December 9th to vote in round one (part 2): cartoon lawyers and hour-long drama lawyers.