Watch L.A. Law
- 8 Seasons
L.A. Law follows the lives and work of a group of Los Angeles attorneys working at the prestigious law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak. The show often deals with current social issues including those involving race, gender, sexuality, domestic violence and more. It debuted on NBC on September 15, 1986 and ran for a total of eight seasons, coming to a close in 1994.
Much of the show takes place inside the law offices and courtrooms as the lawyers work on their various cases. Viewers are privy to the group's struggles to balance their demanding careers with their messy personal lives. Several romantic relationships develop among the coworkers over the years. The attorneys build a reputation as an unbeatable team that takes on the toughest, most controversial cases that other firms turn down. Their brash confidence and willingness to bend legal and ethical rules bother some, while helping them prevail in high stakes trials.
Heading up L.A. Law is senior partner Leland McKenzie, a pragmatic attorney not afraid to use underhanded tactics at times. He does his best to reign in his employees' excesses while encouraging excellence. Arnie Becker, McKenzie's longtime friend and divorce lawyer extraordinaire, struggles with infidelity issues. Public defender turned prosecutor Grace Van Owen challenges gender stereotypes in the workplace. Michael Kuzak's intensity as a trial lawyer lands him big cases, but costs him in romance. Ann Kelsey joins the firm as an idealistic tax lawyer but gradually becomes more competitive under the mentoring of fellow attorney Stuart Markowitz, with whom she has an on-and-off relationship. Goofy divorce lawyer Douglas Brackman provides comic relief with his ineptitude in the courtroom and other gaffes.
The show opens each episode with an exterior shot of the imposing skyscrapers of downtown Los Angeles before transitioning inside to showcase the firm's sleek, modern offices. Viewers experience the fast-paced environment as phones ring constantly and assistants run back and forth delivering paperwork. The attorneys debate trial strategy and research precedents while trying to impress clients and senior partners, some scenes showing the hard work behind legal victories. Other moments capture the glitz of exclusive restaurants, black tie galas, and high rise penthouses that provide glimpses into the perks of life as a successful L.A. attorney.
Critically acclaimed, L.A. Law received 15 Emmy awards over its run including four for Outstanding Drama Series. Its popularity sparked an increase in law school applications and enrollment in the late 1980s as the attractive cast of characters made practicing law look exciting and prestigious on primetime television. Though several decades old now, many legal dramas airing today owe a debt to L.A. Law for inspiration on how to inject drama into the day-to-day legal process. Its impact on pop culture remains clear.
L.A. Law is a series that is currently running and has 8 seasons (171 episodes). The series first aired on September 15, 1986.