Riding Along with Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer

A blackbackground with the words The Lincoln Lawyer, a map of LA is seen in the letters

Editor’s Note: This piece on The Lincoln Lawyer was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.

Legal thrillers have been around for almost as long as TV has; however, they really burst onto the scene and were made famous by the seminal and iconic series Perry Mason, which invented the courtroom procedural. It seems every year there is a new series that tries to recapture the magic, and every once in a while something really special does come along.

In 2022 Netflix released the television show The Lincoln Lawyer which is based on the bestselling book series of the same name by author Michael Connelly. Who also is the author of the Bosch police novels that have been adapted as a long-running series on Amazon Prime and Freevee.

A man drives a blue convertible across a bridge, with the rear license plate saying NTGUILTY
Courtesy of Netflix

The Lincoln Lawyer has a talented cast that stars Manuel Garcia-Rulfo as Mickey Haller aka The Lincoln Lawyer, Neve Campbell as his ex-wife Maggie McPherson, a prosecutor, Becki Newton as Lorna Crane, Mickey’s other ex-wife and now paralegal, and Jazz Raycole as Izzy, Mickey’s driver and sounding board.

Netflix has currently released two seasons consisting of 10 episodes each, with the first season being based on the novel The Brass Verdict and Season 2 being based on the novel The Fifth Witness. The series was released on May 13th, 2022, and Season 2 was dropped in two parts, with part one releasing on July 6th and part two on August 3rd.

Author Michael Connelly has been very open about his in-depth participation in the prep and writing of the series, and helping to form the writer’s rooms and notes on the casting of the characters. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the show has been so widely accepted by fans and new viewers alike, as having the author involved will always make sure that the source material is being honored.

One of the hooks for the show and its lead character comes from the name The Lincoln Lawyer which sees its main character Mickey Haller working mostly out of the back of his Lincoln Town Car, the back filled with boxes of files. He works and takes client meetings and conference calls all from the back of the car.

A common complaint about serialized shows like this one is that they can contain a lot of filler, and can at times slow down to a crawl. Making even 10 episodes feel like a slog to get through. The Lincoln Lawyer does not have this problem, mostly because its author Michael Connelly weaves multiple storylines involving multiple characters so if the story for one cools down for a bit, the plot of another heats up!

A man sits on a sandy beach looking out over the ocean. A yellow surfboard at his side, with clouds above and the mountains in the distance.
Courtesy of Netflix

For example, while Mickey is busy defending his client in Season 2, we get a subplot involving his investigator Cisco, a former member of a biker gang, as he is drawn into his former club’s criminal activities involving a federal informant. We also get subplots that follow his driver Izzy and her efforts to start a small business, as well as his ex-wife’s troubles at the prosecutor’s office. There is always something going on and a story to follow.

The Lincoln Lawyer is a fantastic television show because it does not rely on any one thing to keep its viewers entertained. We have strong characters, exciting storylines, and moral lessons a plenty to be learned.

If you are a fan of legal thrillers, character dramas or just enjoy a good story being told, then Netflix’s The Lincoln Lawyer could be the show for you!

The Lincoln Lawyer is streaming on Netflix

Written by Byron Lafayette

Journalist, film critic, and author, with a (possibly unhealthy) obsession with Pirates of the Caribbean, Zack Snyder and movies in general, Byron has written for many publications over the years, yet never shows his face. To partially quote (and mangle) Batman V Superman "If you seek his face look around you"

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