Over Half of Employees of Law Firms Say TV Legal Dramas Influenced Their Career Choice

A recent survey of legal professionals was taken to see if media stereotypes surrounding law influenced their career choices. Of those surveyed, 56% said that their decision to work in the legal profession was influenced by what they had seen on TV. It appears that U.S. legal dramas are the most influential, with 30% of those influenced saying it was because of the USA Network legal drama Suits that they were persuaded to join the legal profession. A further 22% cited the NBC legal drama Law & Order. Interestingly, 57% of those influenced by media content felt the show that influenced them was a realistic depiction of a legal career. The survey was prompted when Neil Wlliamson with the London law firm EM Law received an interesting answer when interviewing a candidate for a position with the firm. When asked why she was applying for the position, Olivia Wilson, now an executive at the firm, said, “I watch a lot of Suits. I admire Donna’s confidence and competence. She’s always put together and knows exactly what she’s doing. Therefore, I want to become a Donna.” Williamson acknowledged that the media can be influential, but he wanted to know just how influential they really are. If the survey’s results are valid, it further underlines the importance of representation in legal dramas on television.