David E. Kelly, a master of television production, has returned to the legal drama genre with his most recent Netflix series, The Lincoln Lawyer. The show centers on the titular defense lawyer, Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), who after overcoming his opioid addiction following a surfing accident, is forced to return to his legal profession after one of his colleagues is murdered, leaving Mickey his practice with a backlog of cases and potentially a target on his back.
The Mickey Haller-centered novel series by Michael Connelly is the inspiration for the television show. It faithfully adapts The Brass Verdict, the second book in the series with a part being adapted into a 2011 feature film, starring Matthew McConaughey as Haller. While waiting for season 2 to premiere, there are lots of shows like The Lincoln Lawyer to entertain fans of the series.
Updated on July 8, 2023, by Jessie Nguyen:
The Lincoln Lawyer has finally returned for its seasons season, with Part 1 already streaming and Part 2 premiering on August 3. Fans will be left wanting more courtroom justice by the time they finish the first six episodes, thus, here are some legal shows like The Lincoln Lawyer for fans to indulge in while waiting for Part 2 to drop.
15 ‘Anatomy of a Scandal’ (2022)
The scandalous trial of James Whitehouse (Rupert Friend), a parliamentary minister who is accused of sexual assault by his former lover, Olivia Lytton (Naomi Scott), is the subject of Anatomy of a Scandal. Barrister Kate Woodcroft (Michelle Dockery), Whitehouse’s prosecutor, is hell-bent on bringing this man and his career down, while his wife, Sophie Whitehouse (Sienna Miller), is battling to preserve her faith in him.
The creative mind behind Anatomy of a Scandal happens to be The Lincoln Lawyer’s showrunner David E. Kelley, thus, the two series share the same quick pacing and a highly contemporary and intense tone. Similar to The Lincoln Lawyer, Anatomy of a Scandal investigates the infamous trial of a well-known figure in which an affair went horribly wrong, providing the audience with a number of unsettling twists and turns.
14 ‘Matlock’ (1986 – 1995)
Matlock revolves around the life of Ben Matlock (Andy Griffith), a brilliant defense attorney who takes on new cases in each episode. With his sharp intellect and folksy charm, he investigates the crime, uncovers evidence, and ultimately defends his client in court.
Matlock’s wittily charming intelligence can easily remind fans of Mickey Haller and his Lincoln Town Car. Moreover, they both take on criminal cases, thus, there are similar methods and approaches in how they practice law. Moreover, Matlock is a must-see and iconic gem in the legal genre thanks to its distinctive fusion of investigative work and courtroom.
13 ‘Perry Mason’ (2020 – )
HBO’s Perry Mason features Matthew Rhys as the titular attorney and is based on Erle Stanley Gardner’s character and the enduring series of the same name, which aired from 1957 to 1966. The show is set in 1932, when defense attorney Perry Mason, who is still reeling from the trauma of having fought in World War I and has to endure the Great Depression, accepts a case involving a prominent kidnapping that endangers him and his loved ones.
In the same way as The Lincoln Lawyer did with Haller’s PTSD following his accident and his subsequent drug misuse, Perry Mason is also a show that tackles and examines mental health with Mason’s World War I-related trauma. Moreover, as Perry Mason also takes place in Los Angeles, only 90 years distant from The Lincoln Lawyer, fans of the show will feel particularly familiar.
12 ‘Your Honor’ (2020 – 2023)
Your Honor follows a New Orleans judge, Michael Desiato (Bryan Cranston) whose son participates in a hit-and-run that involves an organized crime family. Thus, he is forced to question his own core beliefs. Then, when faced with a series of increasingly difficult decisions, he learns just how far an upright man will go to save his son.
Similar to The Lincoln Lawyer, Your Honor gives audiences a protagonist they can identify with and support while having severe flaws. Additionally, the main characters of both shows must frequently question their morality and professional ethics while practicing law, which leads to conflict in both their personal and professional lives.
11 ‘Fearless’ (2017)
Set in London, Fearless is a British six-part miniseries that centers on human rights attorney Emma Banville (Helen McCrory) as she works to exonerate convicted killer Kevin Russell (Sam Swainsbury) from the murder of the schoolgirl Linda Simms 14 years ago.
The theme of Fearless is significantly highlighted with quick-paced storytelling and brilliant performances from McCrory as well as the supporting cast. Since Fearless only contains six episodes with a central theme of legal cases, it can be a great replacement for fans of The Lincoln Lawyer even though there may be differences in the settings, protagonists, and tone overall.
10 ‘The Practice’ (1997 – 2004)
Another series created by David E. Kelley appears on the list, The Practice which ran for 8 seasons. It explores the inner workings of a Boston law practice, with the series concentrating on a group of attorneys under the direction of Bobby Donnell (Dylan McDermott), the firm’s founder and senior defense attorney.
The premise of the show was similar to that of The Lincoln Lawyer in which both explore the moral grounds for criminal defense attorneys and the extremes to which they will go. Fans will also feel as though they have been immersed in the courtroom and have witnessed history being made personally because of the brilliant writing and outstanding performances.
9 ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ (2014 – 2020)
How to Get Away with Murder centers on Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), a criminal defense lawyer who teaches the titular course. Keating recruits five students for internships at her legal company each academic year. However, things change when the team gets involved in a murderous scheme that will forever alter their lives.
As legal knowledge was significantly emphasized in The Lincoln Lawyer, How to Get Away with Murder also gives viewers useful legal information in a very engaging way. Additionally, this show is for you if you want a strong, fascinating female protagonist with fantastic supporting characters with intriguing backstories and suspense every minute.
8 ‘Goliath’ (2016 – 2021)
David E. Kelley, who also adapted The Lincoln Lawyer for Netflix, and Jonathan Shapiro, are the creator of the Amazon Prime legal drama, Goliath. Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton), is a failed attorney who went on a downward spiral after a killer who he successfully defended, murder an entire family.
One of Goliath‘s most alluring qualities is that it, like The Lincoln Lawyer, can delve deeply into the psychology of its characters. Goliath, on the other hand, is darker than The Lincoln Lawyer and focuses more on corruption and murder, which undoubtedly adds to the drama. Another compelling incentive to watch this series is Thornton, whose portrayal of McBride earned him the 2017 Golden Globe for outstanding actor in a television series.
7 ‘Damages’ (2007 – 2012)
Damages follows Patty Hewes, a cunning and cruel lawyer, portrayed by Glenn Close. A different high-profile case is the center of each season as Patty develops her bright protégé, teaching her the ropes of the competitive world of elite New York law firms and the ethical ambiguities that always seem to arise when Patty is on a case.
The Lincoln Lawyer provides viewers with a protagonist who, despite having serious flaws, they can relate to and root for. Likewise, Damages also takes its time introducing Patty Hewes to the audience. Although she is not always the most endearing or sympathetic which is precisely what makes her, as well as the entire series, so compelling to watch.
6 ‘The Good Fight’ (2017 – 2022)
The Good Fight, a spin-off of The Good Wife, has rapidly become one of Paramount+’s top shows. The Good Wife follows Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) who has to deal with her husband’s political crisis aftermath and returns to her profession as a lawyer. The Good Fight, which is significantly more political than its forerunner, follows Christine Baranski‘s character Diane Lockhart as she embarks on a new career at a different legal firm.
The Good Fight, like The Lincoln Lawyer, isn’t afraid to show all the ugly sides of the judicial system and the brutality in the courtroom. Moreover, The Good Fight also succeeds in addressing many of the urgent social and cultural concerns that may startle the audience, in addition to just offering the traditional thrills of a legal series.
5 ‘The Good Wife’ (2009 – 2016)
The Good Wife centers on Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies), the Cook County State’s Attorney’s wife, who resumes her legal profession following her husband’s (Chris Noth) involvement in a public sex and political corruption scandal.
Similar to The Lincoln Lawyer, The Good Wife also tells the tale of a lawyer who returns to the profession after taking a break from it. Additionally, Alicia, like Mickey, is very devoted to her work and frequently questions her own professional ethics in order to do justice to her client. The female-led legal drama also succeeds in providing more than just the standard thrills one would anticipate from a legal series.
4 ‘Suits’ (2011 – 2019)
Suits follows Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams, as he teams up with Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), a reputable lawyer. Ross, however, is not a lawyer; he merely has a remarkable eidetic memory, and one of the series’ key narrative points includes hiding the fact that Ross did not hold a legal degree.
Although Suits is a legal drama, it contains more humor than The Lincoln Lawyer. The show does not, however, neglect its primary responsibility, which is to provide excellent courtroom drama as well as among the legal professionals themselves. Thus, Suits has enough procedural features to keep and please The Lincoln Lawyer fans.
3 ‘Rake’ (2010 – 2018)
Richard Roxburgh played the idiosyncratic and brash barrister Cleaver Greene who usually defends the guilty in the Australian comedy-drama television series Rake, which ran for five seasons. The character was based on two barristers in Sydney.
Fans love to detest Greene, as contrast to Haller, who is really endearing in The Lincoln Lawyer. However, both individuals are excellent at their jobs. Rake also has a number of funny and entertaining moments with Australian humor that alleviate the tension in the courtroom. One more reason to watch the series is the equally excellent cast and their off-the-charts chemistry.
2 ‘Boston Legal’ (2004 – 2008)
Boston Legal is a spin-off of the popular legal drama The Practice and follows the lives and cases of attorneys at the law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt in Boston. The show also delves into intricate legal situations, which frequently involve moral and ethical quandaries of the lawyers.
Fans of The Lincoln Lawyer will find Boston Legal to have some similarities with their favorite show such as both shows feature lead characters who are highly skilled attorneys known for their unique approaches. For example, Alan Shore (James Spader) in Boston Legal is known for his unorthodox tactics and passionate defense of his clients while Haller is a resourceful and street-smart attorney who employs unconventional methods to secure favorable outcomes for his clients.
1 ‘Better Call Saul’ (2015 – 2022)
Better Call Saul, a prequel to one of the most popular TV shows, Breaking Bad, follows James “Jimmy” McGill (Bob Odenkirk) before he adopted the moniker, Saul Goodman. Before becoming a corrupt lawyer to meth kingpin, Walter White (Bryan Cranston), McGill is a small-time attorney who defends low-income clients and attempts to do good in his community.
Better Call Saul differs from its predecessor in a similar way to The Lincoln Lawyer due to its quirkiness, and there’s little doubt that Bob Odenkirk flourishes in the role of the leading character. Despite focusing more on character development than courtroom drama, the show nonetheless excels in the legal department which promises to deliver the thrill.