Characters / Boston Legal

Alan Shore (James Spader)

  • Amoral Attorney: Inverted. He's more than happy, eager even, to bend or break legal ethics to uphold his own moral ones.
  • Broken Ace: He's gradually revealed to be a broken man filled with sexual repression and self-loathing.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He provides the page picture because he really does wear bunny ears in court. It's a small quirk to overlook for his ability as a lawyer.
  • Chewbacca Defense: His primary ability is to turn the courtroom into his personal soapbox so he can manipulate and shape the issue at hand any way he wants.
  • Crusading Lawyer: He takes plenty of cases just because he feels strongly about an issue.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Handsome Lech
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Likes Older Women: He has a thing for Shirley Schmidt.
  • Limited Advancement Opportunities: It's pointed out several times that he is permanently stuck in his position as an associate at Crane, Poole & Schmidt due to his complete refusal to play by corporate rules, but he's simply too good and valuable as a trump card to fire him.
  • The Lost Lenore: His wife passed away just as he was deliberating over getting rid of her. Since then, he drowns his loneliness and grief in a parade of comely paralegals.
  • Motor Mouth
  • Nice Hat: Not necessarily always a hat, but Alan is particularly fond of wearing strange things on his head. Ornaments (that light up, no less), mistletoe, wigs, coonskin caps...Bunny ears...
  • The Only One: He's the go-to man when it comes to impossible cases, since his originality may be the thing to save the day. Also, a lot of such cases are so fucked that there's nothing he can do to screw it up even more.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His father was never proud of him, as he admits to Denny.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Often subjected to other characters criticizing him, particularly in the early episodes.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Alan is absolutely terrified of clowns.

Denny Crane (William Shatner)

Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen)

Brad Chase (Mark Valley)

Paul Lewiston (Rene Auberjonois)

  • Benevolent Boss: He can be, but he can also be a Bait-and-Switch Tyrant.
  • The Bus Came Back: It never really left. He just moved to a position in the firm where he dealt less with the named partners when Carl transferred to Boston to act as Denny's handler. Paul seems to be happy about this when we see him next, and it's implied that he was burnt out from having to put out all the fires Denny started.
  • The Comically Serious
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Face–Heel Turn: He arranges for the merger with the Chinese in the series finale.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: When first introduced, he was clearly an antagonistic character, a foil for Alan and Denny both. He was not in any way sympathetic, and seemed to hate Denny so much that he was willing to hurt the firm to bring Denny down. Later he softened, became more sympathetic and took the role of Only Sane Man as well as a bit of Butt Monkey.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: His final scene implies that he's aware that he didn't really save Crane, Poole & Schmidt.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Put on a Bus: He's advanced to more administrative duties, no longer simply to keep the atmosphere sane.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mostly. Unless Denny or Alan push too many buttons.

Lori Colson (Monica Potter)

  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome
  • Foil: To Alan in the first season. She's a woman and she's also deeply morally disturbed—contrary to Alan, who is mostly fine with everything illegal and amoral he does.
  • Hello, Attorney!
  • Put on a Bus: It's implied she's quietly swept out of the firm by Shirley after she refuses to back down on filing a sexual harassment case against Denny.

Tara Wilson (Rhona Mitra)

Sally Heep (Lake Bell)

Garrett Wells (Justin Mentell)

  • Brother Chuck: One of the truest examples on the show. His absence is never explained.

Sara Holt (Ryan Michelle Bathe)

Denise Bauer (Julie Bowen)

Jerry Espenson (Christian Clemenson)

Jeffrey Coho (Craig Bierko)

Claire Simms (Constance Zimmer)

Clarence Bell (Gary Anthony Williams)

  • Brother Chuck
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer
  • Extreme Doormat: His actual personality. He developed Clarice, Clavont, and the others as a way of being able to become someone else that didn't have his crippling shyness.
  • Grew a Spine: Starts off unable to be himself around others, using his invented personas, and refuses to even try to practice law. By the time he leaves the show, he has more than once defended a client in court and has developed the ability to stand up for himself.
  • Sassy Black Woman: As Clarice and Oprah.
  • Split Personality: Clarice, Clavont, and Oprah.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser

Lorraine Weller (Saffron Burrows)

Whitney Rome (Taraji P. Henson)

Carl Sack (John Larroquette)

Katie Lloyd (Tara Summers)