10 Best Legal Dramas Directed By Women

Legal TV dramas have been all the rage for quite some time and one of the all time favorites, You better call Saul, ends sadly after six seasons. While the genre changes and evolves all the time, when it comes to being realistic and staying fresh and interesting, one change is quite noticeable.

There are a lot more legal dramas today that are led by female characters. Some of them are stereotypical benefactors, as you might expect, but many creators strive to subvert those stereotypes by creating fictional female characters who are downright brutal and will do anything to win a case.

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Fairly legal took its hit by focusing on members of the legal community who aren’t often in the spotlight. The series follows Kate Reed, who quits her job as a lawyer to become a mediator. Its leading lady is the talented Sarah Shahi who is known to excel in every role she takes on.

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While many legal dramas attempt to subvert female stereotypes by making them as unforgiving as possible, this show takes a different route by playing on Kate’s empathy and search for harmony in a world full of chaos. She deliberately places herself between all plaintiffs and defendants because she believes the law is not black or white.

Drop Dead Diva (2009 – 2014)

Available for purchase on Apple TV

Drop Dead Diva might not be for anyone looking for realism, as it features an aspiring role model who is killed in a car crash and then brought back to life by inhabiting the body of a recently deceased lawyer. The premise seems absurd, but Brooke Elliot, who currently stars in fan favorite sweet magnolias on Netflix, was the perfect lead for the show.

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Due to its interesting premise, the show not only deals with a female lawyer, but also doesn’t shy away from addressing other self-esteem issues and other issues that women face regarding their weight and their appearance, in general.

People (2019)

Available for purchase on Apple TV

Following the success of Suits, Pearson centers on Jessica Pearson, a fan-favorite character who was disbarred due to questionable ethics as a lawyer. Pearson is one of those series that works simply because the main character is engaging enough.

Gina Torres delivers a great performance, and Jessica Pearson has already been on the central theme of perseverance for Combinations that any woman in a demanding workplace can find comforting.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999 – )

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Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a cross between a police procedural and a legal drama, and it’s one of the longest-running drama shows on television. Part of the episode still takes part in a courtroom, and there’s no shortage of strong female lawyers representing the victims, like Alexandra Cabot and Casey Novak, who both fought mercilessly to get the people who assaulted the victims convicted. that they represent.

Neither Alexandra nor Casey was the show’s helm — an honor belonging to fan-favorite Mariska Hargitay — but for different reasons, they both became fan-favorite ADAs. They were both strong, caring characters who sometimes weren’t afraid to cross a line in the pursuit of justice.

Women’s Murder Club (2007 – 2008)

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Women’s Murder Club was a television show based on James Patterson’s bestselling novel series. Featuring an all-female main cast, this show follows a homicide detective, medical examiner, reporter, and young assistant district attorney as they collaborate and solve murders together.

The storylines are generally engaging, and viewers found it easy to connect with the characters. Another aspect strongly emphasized in this series is the bond between the characters, which almost resembles a brotherhood. This type of relationship is often present in a series directed by women.

Ally McBeal (1997 – 2002)

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Ally McBeal was one of the first legal dramas directed by women, even if it borders on comedy. While being an ensemble show, Ally was the main character and viewers got to observe her professional life, as well as her personal struggles. The show ended 20 years ago, and these days it might feel a bit dated, especially with all the stereotypes it brings about women in the workplace, but it’s still fun to watch.

Ally, as the main character, had her flaws, but her inner turmoil was eerily accurate and was one of the main reasons people loved her as a character and rooted for her to succeed. The show crossed the line between fact and fiction, and although the plots were corny at times, the script was often risky and fresh and dared to discuss topics not previously seen on television.


Damage (2007 – 2012)

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Hollywood veteran Glenn Close delivers outstanding Emmy-worthy performance in damage, where she plays Patty Hewes, a lawyer who takes care of her granddaughter at the same time. This show is full of legal entanglements, and what really separates these characters from the rest is their lack of a moral compass.

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Patty is not one of those absolute benefactors. Her motives are often dark and unknown, and she does everything to achieve her goals. Fans often criticize this series for being too whimsical and far-fetched, but overall it’s quality, enjoyable television with a high critical and audience rating.

Scandal (2012 – 2018)

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Scandal may not be as law-focused as some of these shows, but the protagonist, Olivia Pope, is a lawyer who works at a crisis management firm and one of her duties is to protect the President. The show deals more with politics than law, although it can still be considered a court drama. As expected of Shondaland, it also involves a healthy dose of romance and drama.

Olivia is the ideal candidate to hide all the scandals caused by the rich and the political elite of Washington DC. Kerry Washington has portrayed the character in a masterful way, creating a woman who fights for the causes she believes in, but also approves and tolerates horrific actions like torture and kidnapping. The latter annoyed fans towards the end, and some were convinced that Olivia didn’t deserve her happy ending.

How to Get Away With Murder (2014 – 2020)

Stream on Netflix

How to get away with murder brought something new to his audience. The script was surprisingly dark, but that’s to be expected from Shonda Rhimes. According to IMDb ratings, it is even one of the best legal dramas of all time. Despite the engaging script and a hand-picked cast, it was Viola Davis’ performance that took this series to the next level of television.

She plays Annalize Keating, a criminal defense attorney and professor. Due to unfortunate circumstances, she and a group of her students become embroiled in their own murder case. Her character is complex, and she played every side of Annalize to perfection with the strength and persistence that comes with being a woman and a wife, as well as the vulnerability.


The Good Wife (2009 – 2016)

Stream on Paramount+

The public first fell in love with Julianna Margulies in her Emergency room days, but she manages to bring something new each time she plays a new character. Alicia Florrick, a humiliated wife and the only remaining breadwinner must overcome her humiliation and resume her career as a lawyer. Her character is incredibly complex, ranging from vulnerable to brave, and that’s one of the reasons fans love her character so much.

The good wife is one of the few female-led legal TV dramas that has gained a large following and has outstanding ratings from both critics and audiences. Margulies’ lead is further supported by Diane Lockhart’s character, who even spurred her own spin-off called The good fight.

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