Over half of law firm workers say legal TV shows influenced their career choice

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By Emily Hinkley on


Swayed by Suits

A law firm has attempted to quantify the influence of legal TV programmes on the career choices of those within the profession.

Shoreditch-based firm, EM Law, has undetaken a survey of 500 legal professionals to see if media stereotypes surrounding law are correct and understand their influence on career choices.

Of those surveyed, 56% said their decision to work in the legal profession was because of their “true passion for law”. However, over half of respondents also agreed that their career choice was influenced by what they had seen on TV.

It appears that US legal shows are the most influential, with 30% of those influenced saying it was popular drama Suits that persuaded them to join the legal profession. A further 22% cited Law and Order.

Interestingly, 57% of those influenced by media content felt the show that influenced them was a realistic depiction of a legal career.

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The survey was prompted when EM Law’s director, Neil Williamson, received an interesting answer when interviewing a candidate for a position at the firm. When asked why she was applying for the position, Olivia Wilson, now an executive assistant at the firm, told him: “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.”

“Media has always influenced the public,” explained Williamson, “we wanted to know just how influential media can be, more specifically, legal TV shows and their ability to sway career decisions.”

Legal Cheek has previously reported research into the lack of diversity in legal dramas. If this survey’s results are valid then it further underlines the importance of representation in legal TV programmes.

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