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The TV Lawyer Nearly 40% Of People Would Want Representing Them

Courtroom dramas play out a lot differently in the real world than they do on television. Fictional portrayals of legal battles tend to leave out things like the long process of jury selection or the tedium of being explained the microscopic minutiae of the laws being considered. While surprise witness stand confessions and theatrically unconventional presentations by the warring attorneys may be the norm on TV, finding yourself in a real court of law will probably be a lot different. 

But what if you had no choice but to place your fate in the hands of one of the courtroom heroes  (or antiheroes) found on television? The medium certainly has no shortage of lawyers, nor a shortage of genres in which to find them. TV's most well remembered lawyers are introduced not only in the more predictable stories like legal dramas and police procedurals, but even in dramedies and sitcoms. With all the lawyers the small screen has to offer — whether they're fighting for gasps or for laughs — who would you want on your side in a legal arena?

Looper put the question in a poll, giving five of TV's most popular fictional lawyers as choices. One lawyer clearly stood out among the rest. Among other differences between the winning choice and the other attorneys, it's clear having a lot of years under your belt doesn't hurt when it comes to convincing fans you're the best there is at what you do (if what you do is argue on TV). He's an interesting choice, considering he's usually a prosecuting attorney and they don't often represent individuals. But, on the other hand it could be a very smart choice: after all, who better to defend you than someone who's so well-versed in the prosecution's bag of tricks?

Here's who you voted for.

Nearly 40% of respondents chose Jack McCoy as their attorney of record

Looper's poll attracted 527 respondents, and more than a few of them agree that the best lawyer to represent them is Sam Waterston's Jack McCoy, from the godfather of all police procedurals – Law & Order. Waterston played the fiery prosecutor for well over a decade on three different Law & Order series, as well as a couple episodes of Homicide: Life on the Street. McCoy wins the poll with 39.28 percent of the vote. 

With 15.75 percent of the vote, Bob Odenkirk's Saul Goodman comes in second. When viewers first meet Goodman in the second season of Breaking Bad, he seems like the stereotypical "ambulance chaser." But it soon becomes clear that there's a lot more going on in Saul's noggin than we first imagine, and it was enough to launch the successful spin-off series Better Call Saul.

In third place, with 12.71 percent, is Ally McBeal, the attorney Calista Flockhart made famous in the late nineties and early 2000s. Only 10.63 percent of respondents chose Gabriel Macht's Harvey Specter of the sophisticated legal drama Suits, putting him in fourth placeAnd finally, Boston Legal's Alan Shore (James Spader) gets last place, with 7.59 percent of the vote. 

14.04 percent of respondents chose other, some of whom added the names of fictional lawyers not offered in the options. Of these, the overwhelming write-in choice was for Perry Mason, who was first played on television by the late Raymond Burr. More recently, Matthew Rhys took over the role in the HBO original series.