A Brief (pun intended) History of Lawyers in Movies

April 13, 2015 9:25 AM

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Lawyers in motion pictures have been portrayed as one of two extremes, devils or angels, almost since celluloid was invented. The first film dealing specifically with alaw firm and attorneys, 1933's Counsellor at Law, starring John Barrymore, portrayed its J.D.s as upstanding citizens, as did the early Perry Mason films of the same period. This quickly changed, however, with many attorneys portrayed as being capable of the same brand of skullduggery as their shifty clients. With that in mind, we bring you a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of lawyers in movies.

Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch became the boilerplate for the Noble Movie Lawyer in this iconic, 1962 adaptation of Harper Lee's award-winning novel. Atticus Finch, a small town attorney in the Depression-era South, must defend a black man (Brock Peters) falsely accused of raping a white woman, causin...

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