Introduction to Lawyers in Canadian History
Social Science Research Network
Lawyers. Everyone loves them. Or hates them. Only physicians and cops compete for domination of prime time television. From Perry Mason through Rumpole, L.A. Law, Night Court, Street Legal, Ally McBeal, and Court TV, television portrayals of lawyers seem ubiquitous. Our cultural obsession with the profession is also reflected in a seemingly unending array of movies, books, talkradio, news reports, and other media. The cumulative cultural impact of even these few high-impact TV shows alone is
... V shows alone is enormous. TV lawyers are, to varying degrees, smart, principled, eccentric, beautiful, or goofy, but always interesting. Some of the wealthiest and most powerful, it seems, are also witty, beautiful, and relatively unencumbered by the tedium of work. Motion picture lawyers and those in novels more frequently reveal a darker side. News coverage reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly. Not infrequently, one person's hero is the other's villain. Accountants, Engineers, Dentists, and Mechanics, it seems, just don't capture the popular imagination in the same way.