The lives and work of the staff of a major Los Angeles law firm.
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Our Favorite TV and Movie Lawyers

Get ready for "Goliath" Season 2 with a look at some of our favorite lawyers from the big and small screens.

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Won 5 Golden Globes. Another 40 wins & 147 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Corbin Bernsen ...  Arnie Becker 171 episodes, 1986-1994
Jill Eikenberry ...  Ann Kelsey 171 episodes, 1986-1994
Alan Rachins ...  Douglas Brackman, Jr. 171 episodes, 1986-1994
Michael Tucker ...  Stuart Markowitz 171 episodes, 1986-1994
Richard Dysart ...  Leland McKenzie 171 episodes, 1986-1994
Susan Ruttan ...  Roxanne Melman 150 episodes, 1986-1993
Blair Underwood ...  Jonathan Rollins 149 episodes, 1987-1994
Larry Drake ...  Benny Stulwicz 144 episodes, 1987-1994
Susan Dey ...  D.D.A. Grace Van Owen / ... 126 episodes, 1986-1992
Jimmy Smits ...  Victor Sifuentes 107 episodes, 1986-1992
Harry Hamlin ...  Michael Kuzak 105 episodes, 1986-1991
Michele Greene ...  Abby Perkins 105 episodes, 1986-1991
John Spencer ...  Tommy Mullaney / ... 83 episodes, 1990-1994
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 September 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(170 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono (early episodes)| Stereo (later episodes)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alan Rachins (Douglas Brackman, Jr.) is the brother-in-law of Steven Bochco, as he has been married to his elder sister Joanna Frank since 1978. See more »

Quotes

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.
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Connections

Referenced in 30 Rock: Respawn (2011) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A classic legal drama that redefined TV
19 July 2001 | by asmith-7See 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.


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