I may be just a little overexcited about what might otherwise be mundane news. But, hey, I live in Hollywood, I'm attached to the paralegal field and well, I've been curious as to why just about every TV series revolving around lawyers and law firms leaves out paralegals.
Years ago, I attended a Los Angeles Paralegal Association seminar where the technical advisor to a hit lawyer TV show was speaking. During the Q&A, he was asked why there were no paralegals on his show – on any show, for that matter. "Because they have no love life," he claimed. Hmmm….as a single woman over 35, that didn't do much for my confidence.
But the TV gods must have been listening. The Hollywood Reporter (an industry icon), and TVGuide.com announced today that Showtime's Brotherhood star, Jason Clarke, is going from the mob to the courtroom: The actor has landed a starring role on CBS's new legal series about the U.S. Attorney's office in Manhattan.
Clarke will play a section chief who manages four lawyers and a group of paralegals in their overlapping cases. No word yet on a show title. Earlier this week, Jericho's Lennie James was cast in the series as a former assistant district attorney who finds work as a paralegal after being disbarred.
Aussie Clarke is best known as Tommy Caffee on Showtime's Irish gang series, Brotherhood, and can next be seen in this summer's Public Enemies with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.
Why is this good news? Look what the CSI franchise did for crime scene investigators. Who knew anything about CSI folks prior to the series? I understand that the field was then flooded with CSI wannabees. And, statistics show that every time a lawyer TV series becomes a hit, admissions to law schools go up. With the onset of TV lawyer shows, the average Joe and Joyce suddenly understood what lawyers did, even in a generic sense. It stands to reason that the same kind of media attention can do the same thing for paralegals.
Actually, I'm not sure about the disbarred attorney-turned-paralegal role as being such a good PR thing. Nor, in real life, do law firms generally like to hire disbarred attorneys for anything – but hey, it's a start. Uh, isn't it?