Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best TV & Movie Lawyers

The courtroom scene is a staple of so many TV shows and movies, but who are the best fictional lawyers ever? Here are my Top Ten:


Andrew Beckett: Played by Tom Hanks in the movie Philadelphia. Whatever Tom Hanks plays, he’s in the top ten.


Lt. Daniel Kaffee: Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men. He couldn’t handle the truth.


Vincent Gambini: Joe Pesci in My Cousin Vinny. “The two yutes…” Maybe the funniest fictional lawyer ever.


Harvey Specter: Played by Gabriel Macht in Suits. If you were to build a lawyer in a laboratory, this is what he’d look like.


Denny Crane: William Shatner in Boston Legal. I always loved the end of each episode when he and James Spader’s character sat on the balcony drinking scotch, smoking cigars and talking about life.


Saul Goodman: Played by Bob Odenkirk, he got Walter White out of trouble in Breaking Bad.


Jackie Chiles: Play by Phil Morris, he was the funny Seinfeld parody of O.J. Simpson lawyer Johnnie Cochran.


Jack McCoy: Played by Sam Waterston on Law & Order for 17 seasons. If I ever have to go to court I want him as my lawyer.


Fred Gailey: Played by Peter Lind Hayes in the 1959 movie Miracle on 34th St. I contend that the courtroom scene where he proves his client to be Santa Clause is the best movie courtroom scene ever.


Atticus Finch: Played by Gregory Peck in To Kill A Mockingbird. He named his kids Scout and Jem decades before celebrities were using stupid names for their kids. He may have been the first and most famous fictional lawyer.

Legal disclaimer: All pictures displayed are property of the networks and studios that produced them. I had to put that so that no real, and less appealing lawyers from the studios won’t drag me into court. I was on a jury once and trials are far more boring than TV and movies make them out to be. Feel free to offer your favorite lawyers in the comments if they’re not on my list. Have a great Tuesday! ~Phil

25 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday! The Ten Best TV & Movie Lawyers

  1. Although there are some on this list (Tom Cruise) I’ve never heard of, I love love loved Tom Hanks in Philadelphia, and Miracle on 34th Street is by far one of my all time favorite films. I think I could probably quote Gailey’s courtroom statements by heart now!

    Also, I must thank you for enlightening me on the fact that the lawyer on Seinfeld was a parody of Cochran. I was too young at the time to have heard of Cochran or know much about OJ’s dealings, but having watched the OJ documentary last year I now totally see the parody!

  2. Love these, but especially Vincent Gambini and Saul Goodman 🙂

    • Yes, those are two of the best on the list. I’m not in love with all of them, but those were two of my favorites.

      • (Sidebar/comment hijack: How did you manage to just like a post on my blog? It’s set to private…)

      • I just clicked on your name in the comment on my blog and it took me there. Did you give me permission to view your blog in the past? BTW, I noticed the post is from over 2 months ago. Did I go to the wrong blog? Are you blogging elsewhere?

      • No, I don’t think I gave anyone access, unless I just put the privacy settings at the wrong level. And no, I haven’t been writing elsewhere. I felt bad that I haven’t had the energy to write at all, which is why I (tried to) take it offline.

      • Well I hope you’re feeling better. It’s nice to hear from you! I’ve missed your bloggity ramblings! And I do love your Pigpool pics! Happy New Year! (Maybe you subconsciously gave me access because I’m your favorite)

      • I also just went back and liked a bunch of others just to be a smart ass

      • Holly, I know a good lawyer …

  3. I would add Charles Laughton in “Witness for the Prosecution.”

  4. Phil, please do. It has a great cast and is done with intelligence, style, and suspense.

  5. I had forgotten about some of those…but I was slayed by Tom Hanks in Philadelphia. One of the best movies. And who doesn’t like “dem youts” Gambini. Great list!

  6. Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith). I’d eat a hot dog with him any day 🌭

  7. To be fair to Atticus, Scout was a nickname. Her real name was Jean Louise. I don’t remember if Jem had a different name.

  8. Great list! Love it!

  9. Nice list! I would have added Jake Brigance (Matthew McConaughey) in A Time to Kill as well

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