5 legal TV shows to watch when you want a break from studying

I love to sit and binge watch TV shows, it’s definitely something I do when I need a break from studying. While I’m currently rewatching Game of Thrones, here’s 5 TV shows I love to watch that have a legal theme.

1. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
As one of the spin offs of Law and Order, this is one of the best legal shows, in my opinion, currently on TV. As the opening of the show says: “In the criminal justice system, sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.” DUN DUN. The show follows the detectives mainly, but also includes the lawyers of the District Attorney’s Office as advisers to the cops. With 20 seasons, and a 21st confirmed, there’s enough to catch up on during your summer, and once you’re done with those 20 seasons there’s the rest of the Law and Order franchise which contains over 1000 episodes!

2. Suits
This show follows college drop out Mike Ross as he inadvertently becomes a law associate for the biggest ‘closer’, Harvey Specter, in New York City. It focuses on the cases taken by the firm Harvey and Mike work for as they aim to keep Mikes secret – that he’s never been to law school. While Mike leaves the show in season seven it continues following the other lawyers in the firm and the drama of working in a New York law firm. The show is currently on it’s eighth season, with the ninth and final season confirmed for the future. It may not be the most realistic (how would no one notice Mike hadn’t taken the bar exam???) but it’s definitely a good watch and is currently on Netflix!

3. How To Get Away With Murder
Shondaland does it again with this amazing show starring Viola Davis. It follows Davis’ character, Annalise Keating, as a law professor and lawyer who gets embroiled in a murder plot with 5 of her students. The show features many twists and turns along the way, with more suspicious deaths and actions throughout its 5 current seasons. Episodes generally focus on a case which spans a number of episodes, often unrelated to the murders surrounding the main characters, showing Annalise’s legal prowess, while exploring the large plot including the main characters. It’s also currently on Netflix, meaning you can catch up with previous seasons while watching the current one.

4. The People v OJ Simpson: American Crime Story
The first instalment of the American Crime Story anthology focuses on the case against OJ Simpson following the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. OJ Simpson is immediately implicated in the case, and the show follows the case from all angles – the dream legal team assembled to defend OJ Simpson, the District Attorney’s office and the atmosphere of Los Angeles in 1994. With only 10 episodes it’s easy to watch the twists and turns of this true case ending with the famous not guilty decision of the jury. This is a show I genuinely go back and watch multiple times as it’s just so good.

5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
While this show may not be from the perspective of lawyers, or even involve many lawyers, it’s a fun show that does include the legal system. The show is set in the 99th police precinct in New York and follows the detectives and the mischief they get up to. This show never fails to make me laugh out loud, even though it often covers serious issues such as LGBTQ+ rights. If you’ve had a bad day and need a bit of a laugh, this is definitely the show to watch – something I often did while studying more heavy topics in my human rights classes!

Whether you love comedies or more serious dramas there’s so many legal TV shows out there you’re bound to find one you love. What’s your favourite legal TV show?

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