We are lucky to live in what’s been dubbed “the Golden Age of Television.” There are just so many networks putting out so many outstanding shows. It can actually be quite overwhelming trying to decide what to watch, and the trick is figuring out which of the hundreds of shows out there are the “best of the best.” Well, we asked lawyers what they’re binge-watching these days to help give you some solid suggestions. Here’s what they had to say: [Warning: Some of these shows are VERY addicting.]
“I recently started watching the show Mindhunter on Netflix, and it fascinates me. Aside from the creepy serial killer aspect of the series, what you have is a team of protagonists who put aside common biases and focus on what makes their target tick. In a different respect, this is exactly what my firm does for clients. Mindhunter does a great job of highlighting the value of solid teamwork.” —David Allan Goldsmith, an attorney who specializes in Lemon Law as well as product liability, employment law, and personal injury in Los Angeles
“Billions has recently become one of my favorites in a vast library of TV law. It takes a peek into the cut-throat nature of insider trading and the mess of the criminal cases that follow, which wildly escalate when billionaires are involved. A must-watch.” —Fred Cunningham, a personal injury and insurance bad faith injury attorney in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida
“An important show, but perhaps not an obvious choice for lawyers is Project Greenlight, which focuses on first-time filmmakers and how they convey a compelling story via film. Lawyers must know how to give the jury a compelling ‘story’ and not put the jury to sleep. Who is the hero (the jury), the villain (the defendant) and the victim (our client)? Everyone has a role in a trial and the lawyer must know how to direct the production.” —Jim Higgins, a personal injury lawyer in Tennessee
“If you are a Breaking Bad fan and a lawyer, Better Call Saul is a must-watch! It has some interesting takes on how hard it can be for a solo practitioner to survive (using the back room of a nail salon for an office, for example). Suits is also a good one to binge watch. While the premise is far-fetched, most of the episodes are fast-paced, and a lot of the attorneys play off of embellished stereotypes of lawyers you’ve likely come across at some point.” –Clayton Hasbrook, a personal injury attorney in Oklahoma City
“There’s nothing like a good who done it, especially when it lays out the considerable problems we face in preventing wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system. One of the best series out there that did just that is Making a Murderer. It simply cannot be beaten.” —Patrick Barone, a criminal defense attorney in Michigan.
“I think there are three must-watch shows for attorneys: JAG, because it’s a great show and the writers do a fairly good job of depicting military court in a realistic manner; Law & Order because they take the storylines directly from real-life events and the courtroom scenes were always well-executed; and finally, Perry Mason, because it’s a classic and because there is simply nothing like watching Perry break a witness on the stand.” —Vikas Bajaj, a criminal defense attorney in San Diego
“Given my work as a lawyer, the last thing I want to watch when I get home is a show about my profession like Suits. Instead, I prefer to check out and watch a non-law show like Black Mirror that still has as puzzle to the plot but gets me away from the world of litigation and business transactions.” —David Engelhardt, a litigation and transaction lawyer in New York City
“The Staircase is my favorite. It’s a classic example of a miscarriage of justice. It meticulously discusses presenting evidence at trial and how it can sway a jury. And, it also shows how lawyers can misplace their trust in an expert, which can lead to disastrous consequences.” —Marc Lamber, a personal injury attorney in Phoenix, Arizona
“I recommend The Night Of, which is a murder mystery that also has a huge dose of courtroom drama. It shows how even an attorney who may look like a slouch can do a great job for his client under very difficult circumstances.” —Anthony Zurica, an attorney in New York City and Westchester who specializes in real estate and family law
“The best show, without a doubt, for lawyers to binge-watch is Bull. The show focuses on a trial psychologist and how he and his team go about identifying the ideal juror for a particular client. They look at everything from how the juror is likely to relate to and sympathize with the client’s situation to whether the juror is predisposed toward following the rules to an extreme or adapting them for unusual circumstances. It really helps attorneys gain more insight into how to select the right jury, and it is very entertaining.” –Paul H. Cannon, a personal injury trial attorney in Houston, Texas
“Lawyers connect with people emotionally. We must be able to listen to people deeply, and connect with their feelings to meaningfully communicate. This Is Us does a great job of telling emotional stories which is great for lawyers, who are storytellers themselves.” —Scott Glovsky, an insurance bad faith and personal injury lawyer in Pasadena, California
Kristin Johnson is an executive and corporate communications professional, and founder of KSJ Communications, a communications and public relations firm. She consults with a diverse roster of clients spanning the technology, professional services, financial services, public sector, consumer, and healthcare industries. In addition to Rocket Matter, Johnson writes for various other publications as well.