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L.A. Law (1986–1994)

TV Series  |   |  Drama
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Reviews: 21 user | 12 critic

The lives and work of the staff of a major Los Angeles law firm.

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1994   1993   1992   1991   1990   1989   … See all »
Won 5 Golden Globes. Another 40 wins & 146 nominations. See more awards »
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Complete series cast summary:
 Arnie Becker (171 episodes, 1986-1994)
 Ann Kelsey (171 episodes, 1986-1994)
 Douglas Brackman, Jr. (171 episodes, 1986-1994)
Michael Tucker ...
 Stuart Markowitz (171 episodes, 1986-1994)
 Leland McKenzie (171 episodes, 1986-1994)
 Roxanne Melman (150 episodes, 1986-1993)
 Jonathan Rollins (149 episodes, 1987-1994)
 Benny Stulwicz (144 episodes, 1987-1994)
 D.D.A. Grace Van Owen / ... (126 episodes, 1986-1992)
 Victor Sifuentes (107 episodes, 1986-1992)
 Michael Kuzak (105 episodes, 1986-1991)
Michele Greene ...
 Abby Perkins (105 episodes, 1986-1991)
 Tommy Mullaney / ... (83 episodes, 1990-1994)


This popular TV drama depicted life in a large Los Angeles law firm. The plots were strongly character-based and dealt with both the personal lives and professional activities of the partners, associates, and staff. Scenes centered around the courtroom and the law offices. Often, an episode would open with a surprising twist, which would then be played out during the rest of the show. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

15 September 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

L.A. Law - Staranwälte, Tricks, Prozesse  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(170 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(early episodes)| (later episodes)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Series creator Steven Bochco was so taken with the show being parodied on the cover of the October 1987 issue of Mad Magazine that he staged a photo shoot with the show's actors in the exact same positions that their caricatures had appeared on the magazine's cover. Mad Magazine ran the photo in a subsequent issue. See more »


Stuart Markowitz: Don't underestimate me, I'm amazing with mums. When I was at High School all of them had crushes on me, it was the daughters I had trouble with.
See more »


Referenced in Cop Rock: Potts Don't Fail Me Now (1990) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A classic legal drama that redefined TV
19 July 2001 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

The previous post was less than favorable to this incredible show ("great actors, flawed writing"), so I just had to weigh in. For a moment, forget that "L.A. Law" presented some of the most compelling and unusual legal cases as drama (some of them so unusual, in fact, showrunner David E. Kelley would revisit them in his own "Picket Fences," "The Practice," and even "Ally McBeal").

"L.A. Law" brought black comedy back to television and presented sexuality and sensuality that actually advanced its storylines. The latter were core character traits of Corbin Bernsen's Arnold Becker and Jill Eikenberry's and Michael Tucker's Ann Kelsey and Stuart Markowicz, respectively. You can argue the tastefulness of these scenes and others, but you couldn't make a case for their gratuity.

The writing, of course, enabled the other collaborators on this show to perform at the peaks of their abilities. The show explored some of the more difficult issues of its time through our legal adversarial process. Whether surgeons should be obligated to operate on AIDS patients, the right for the terminally ill to die, the lives of the mentally challenged, sexual dysfunctions, the pressures and responsibilities of the police -- these and other episodes paved the way for the shows we're watching today. "L.A. Law" stood on the shoulders of giants, yes, but it became a giant in its own right.

Arguably the show created by Stephen Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher suffered with the departure of David. E. Kelley in its fifth season. The guys who used to run "St. Elsewhere" had a brief stint as showrunners, and viewers began tuning out when the show became less about L.A. lawyers and more about various medical maladies.

That fifth season was especially dramatic, too, as several cast members also were leaving, which freed the writers from some of the constraints of series television -- namely, that characters could not change significantly from week to week.

To dismiss "L.A. Law" as a show about yuppie lawyers is to misjudge a deep, poignant, and important book by its slick, glossy cover. Check it out.

3 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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