Pennsylvania Based Legal Show Making Waves

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ABC’s newest drama, ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ is making quite a splash in its debut season. The show, which is a legal drama, is based in Pennsylvania and explores the state’s criminal defense system. In today’s blog your Pittsburgh Criminal Defense Lawyers discuss, and critique, the new show.

In case you haven’t gotten a chance to catch an episode of the show, I’ll provide you with a quick overview. ‘How to Get Away With Murder’ centers around a woman that is both a Professor of Criminal Law at a Philadelphia law school and a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Attorney. She is hailed as an intimating law professor and one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the state. Every year her small law firm recruits a few of her first year law students to assist with their cases.

Though the show is no doubt entertaining, as they say, “you can’t believe everything you see on TV.” As a PA Criminal Defense lawyer I sometimes can’t help but cringe while watching the show. There are certain scenes which incorrectly portray courtroom protocol and which are clear violations of Pennsylvania ethics rules.

Of course I know that these are done in order to dramatize the show, but nonetheless I can’t help but be just a little bit critical of these misrepresentations of the PA criminal law system. The worst part is that clients watch these shows and sometimes have unreasonable expectations based on what is portrayed.

Another aspect of the show which is a bit exaggerated is the whole experience of a first year law student. Law school is hard and the first year is by far the hardest. There are very few law students that could balance working at a law firm for at least several hours a day during their first semester of school. And even if there were a few top students that could do both, there are probably even fewer law firms that would hire a first semester law student.

Inaccuracies aside, I must say that ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ is a very entertaining show. Almost every Friday morning my team and I discuss the show over our morning coffee, and we all agree that the show’s main character is tremendous. It’s nice to see a female lead playing the role of a strong and passionate Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer.

If you ever find yourself in need of a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Western Pennsylvania, contact our team of PA Criminal Lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Like the lawyer in ‘How To Get Away With Murder’ we fight for our clients and work to ensure that your legal rights are always protected.