The premise of the show is incredibly absurd and it is not at all realistic, but few legal dramas are. Law & Order is the only one I've ever watched that's been in the same ballpark as reality. David E. Kelley puts on a good show sometimes, but as a rule legal dramas are as reflective of the practice of law as CSI is reflective of the study of forensic science (that is to say, not at all reflective).
That said, when they aren't drowning you in terrible cliches, this show isn't half bad. I thought the second episode was significantly stronger than the pilot, which was mostly a mess.
Originally Posted by domino92024
As long as the lead attorney of record in a trial passed that state's bar exam, his/her assistants need not.
The kid has filed several motions already, hasn't he? I would assume that they were filed using his boss's bar identification, but even still, given that his boss never looked them over, they were all unlicensed practice. They are neck deep in unlicensed practice and his boss would be disbarred in no time flat. As I recall, the kid's interactions with the client and witnesses in his pro bono case clearly misrepresented him as a lawyer.
4000 page briefs? No such thing. And worse, proofing a document that size would literally take one associate months. Going through all those boxes in a single night? Impossible. You could staff five attorneys on those boxes and they wouldn't be done in a night. Patent filings? Those can only be done by patent lawyers. General practice lawyers like these guys aren't even admitted to the patent bar so there's another layer of unlicensed practice. And, most important, no partner who planned to keep his job would ever keep throwing filings at a first year associate and tell him to "figure it out." The client would go ballistic, and the filing would be screwed up, and millions of dollars would get flushed down the toilet.
Point is, this show isn't even close to realistic and I have to assume it isn't concerned with trying to be realistic. If it is, they need to hire some new consultants, so I wouldn't look too closely at anything law-related going on.
To me, the most interesting choice was giving the paralegal a cushy window office while strangely appearing to seat the actual lawyers in bullpen-style cubicles. Of all the choices they've made on this show when it comes to disregarding reality, I find that by far the most out of place--particularly given how much they have emphasized already importance of a lawyer's appearance, dress, and office space.
Although there are certainly many star paralegals out there who go on to become highly successful lawyers, none of them are ever treated as anything more than glorified secretaries while they are still paralegals. In the world of the law firm, there are two classes of individuals: lawyers and non-lawyers. Disappointing and unfortunate, but true. Paralegals are the latter; they would never get window offices if lawyers are stationed at cubicles. Paralegals don't generally do legal research, except the absolute most basic kind; in firms of this size/prestige, they'd exist mostly to manage files ("case management") and occasionally cite-check briefs. I suppose it's not totally unrealistic for a paralegal to help out with research on a pro bono case though.
One last thing: law firms don't do drug tests on lawyers. (At least, not high profile firms like they're presenting this one as.)