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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>
Series co-creator Terry Louise Fisher, former deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, former entertainment lawyer for 20th Century Fox, and producer-writer for Cagney & Lacey (1981), composed a form letter she was thinking of sending to lawyers who complained about the show: "Dear So-and-so: If I were a good lawyer, I'd still be practicing law. Instead, I'm stuck in Hollywood, making 10 times as much money. I hope you are as conscientious about your clients as you are about our show. Thank for your writing." See more »
This was a seminal show -- probably the first "lawyer show" that wasn't really a detective program in disguise. L.A. Law introduced us to many of the particulars of a law firm: The staff meeting, administrative hearings, appellate court argument, as well as almost all aspects of criminal and CIVIL litigation. It was an amazing program that, when it focused on the intriguing cases that came to the firm, was arguably the best show on television in the late 80s and early 90s. If I recall correctly only Hill Street Blues, The West Wing, and L.A. Law won 4 Emmys for best drama (now maybe Mad Men?). There's a reason this show ranks in the upper echelon of television dramas.
To be fair to its critics, however, I can't remember ANY program that was this good that, almost abruptly, became so bad! Although I continued to watch it until the end, it was hit-and-miss at best, and sometimes just plain terrible after the fifth season.
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