Just for laughs I tuned in tonight to Bad Judge on NBC starring Kate Walsh.
I am usually interested in these lawyer shows given my own ties to the legal profession and the fact that I am in court a lot as part of my job. Anyway, this show didn’t hold my interest for more than a few minutes before I returned to watching the baseball playoffs.
It seems like other folks weren’t impressed either, like here at Grantland.
I got the distinct impression Bad Judge got all its inspiration from the movie Bad Teacher that starred Cameron Diaz. Here, Walsh plays a similar personality in Rebecca Wright, a Southern California judge who is a sloppy, hard-drinking, sexoholic, total loser.
My reaction is to ask how the heck she got herself into law school, let alone appointed to the bench, because most judges I’ve seen are nothing like this.
Come to think of it, it is all too common on these lawyer shows to have on there, ahem, interesting characters like this. The fact is that the legal profession is notorious for being overrun by uptight personalities. You wouldn’t see Judge Wright, or those cool dudes Franklin and Bash or any of David E. Kelley’s characters (Ally McBeal comes to mind) in the real world at any of these firms or on the bench. Ally McBeal and her daydreams about dancing babies would have been put out of her misery very quickly at a real law firm, I guarantee you that.
You know what? This is exactly the problem with the legal profession as it is — something about these law firms doesn’t seem to allow for much diversity in personalities. In short, the most interesting a person you are, the less likely these firms will be so interested in you. How many punk rockers with the big hair do you see as “BigLaw” corporate lawyers? That’s my point. (Come to think of it, this is a good TV show idea.)
Most associates can only wish the legal profession, and the personalities of more of the people in it, was more like what you see in TV because the reality is it just isn’t as interesting in real life.