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The portrayal of the legal field in TV and film

Posted by
22 Nov 2016
Legal field on television As a relatively new convert to Netflix I must admit that I have become somewhat of an addict! From getting in late in the evenings after work or being busy with friends at the weekend, the service means I can tune into pretty much any TV show or film at the click of a button.

This has opened a whole world of legal related film portrayals and having now grown and established my own knowledge of the legal field, I often compare the real life role to that of which is shown across the US and UK.

Clearly one of the first and most obvious differences is that the major portrayals are made in the US and there is a huge difference in law and legal jargon than that of the UK. From the well-known programme Suits we are inundated with subpoenas and depositions, to The Goodwife where we follow a campaign for the County Attorney’s office. This is taken through to our day to day recruitment in that UK and New Zealand and Australian law is in fact very similar so clients are very open to taking on new recruits relocating from these areas.

The obvious point to make is that the programs are over-dramatised to include a whole host of subjects from Solicitors pretending to be qualified (Suits), to those who set up their own firms in The Goodwife at what seems like it is on a whim while all the while keeping tricky clients on their books.

Programs such as The Good Wife and Suits mentioned above portray this unrealistic image of Lawyers undergoing personal prosecution in public trials and still coming away from the experience as being able to practice law. Of course, working in this field and supplying locums for large organisations, one of the first checks we have to make is to ensure they hold a current and clear practicing certificate on file and whenever we come across findings or conditions our clients automatically question this. We recruit in a highly saturated market and the difficult hurdles that Lawyers who have conditions against practising come against this time and time again when seeking employment.  

Although those TV and Films inspire young people to get into the craft it can also lead to disappointment when graduates realise that being a defence lawyer doesn’t necessarily earn you the pay pack you always dreamt of. TV such as Making a Murderer on Netflix saw this in action as the defence lawyers were portrayed as second class to the prosecutors who seem to persuade the jury of the unimaginable!

Having said that, working within the legal recruitment sector in the UK can be hugely rewarding for those looking to invest their time and career to helping others. And whilst, the role may not be as glamorous as portrayed on television, we’ve placed many candidates who are extremely satisfied with their current role.  

If you are interested in legal roles please give our Manchester office a call who specialise in public sector recruitment on 0161 834 1642. Alternatively, browse through our latest roles. Browse Roles
Tagged In: Current Affairs, Legal
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