For Jimmy McGill himself, see Saul Goodman.
A smart and ambitious attorney, Kim Wexler has worked her way up from humble beginnings. Kim is committed to building her own independent practice, now outside the confines of HHM, while juggling her complex relationship with Jimmy and the extraordinary situations he routinely finds himself in.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: What she's got going on with Jimmy. Kim is definitely more understanding of his conning than most good girls should be, put it that way. She has her reservations, though: she does constantly throw up walls about totally getting into and behind the things he does. Although she had a relationship with him (presumably) before knowing him being a con man, it's his conning of KEN WINS that reawaken it in season 2.
- Amoral Attorney: Increasingly so as her relationship with Jimmy leads to her compromising her morals and professional ethics a lot, but she is really remorseful of this and tries to balance her karma by taking pro bono public defense cases as she grows disillusioned with her Mesa Verde career. And on the side of Jimmy's cons, she gets a bigger and bigger high with each con, with her only concern being just not getting caught. She completely falls into this trope by the end of Season 5 when she plans to frame Howard and destroy his career to get the money from the Sandpiper case.
- Anti-Villain: Type IV. Kim is a genuinely kind-hearted and hardworking lawyer who wants to help the downtrodden and unfortunate. Unfortunately, her Undying Loyalty to Jimmy and attraction to his con man lifestyle lead to her increasingly compromising moral and ethical lines as she turns a blind eye to or outright becomes an accomplice to his criminal activities. By the end of Season 5 she seems to be heading into Well-Intentioned Extremist territory, with her rationalizing that doing a bad thing like framing Howard is justified as long as the money goes towards a good cause.
- Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Jimmy is an ex-con and a slimeball of a lawyer at best. Kim is a straight-laced, hardworking attorney in all the best ways. Yet they both clearly, deeply, completely love each other, supporting each other's decisions, and accepting the other's best and worst parts like no one else, no matter how often they argue.
- Badass Pacifist: Kim hates violence, she hates that Jimmy is involved with violent people, but if you dare threaten him, she will stand in your way and spit pure logic in your face until you back off. She doesn't care if you're the psychotic head of a drug cartel:Jimmy McGill: "Did you hear all that?"Mike Ehrmantraut: "I heard enough to know she saved your ass."-"Bad Choice Road"
- Berserk Button:
- People backstabbing Jimmy, playing politics with him or trying to insinuate he is of low character really tick her off. She visibly bristles with anger when a prosecutor refers to Jimmy as a "scumbag disbarred lawyer" (even if the professional environment means she can't retaliate) and absolutely explodes with rage when Howard tells her Jimmy will get a measly $5,000 from Chuck's will and what she presumes is a poison pen letter from the grave. Kim's FaceHeel Turn comes when Howard tells her that Chuck knew Jimmy best in a mildly condescending tone, which convinces her to get back at Howard by destroying his career.
- The minute anyone tries to take her sense of agency away from her by implying that her actions are manipulated, especially by Jimmy, she seems to get pissed off like nothing else. Especially since the people who say this to her are entitled, towering figures in the legal or banking community, people who have had lots of help getting to the top (Howard, for example, literally just got handed his job from his dad right out of law school).
"Do you have any idea how insulting that is? I make my own decisions."
- As a smart, strong woman who is very much ruler of her own destiny, she is especially incensed by any suggestion that she is a naive, fragile damsel who is in thrall to Jimmy, such as when Chuck accuses Jimmy of having "ruined this fine young woman", or when Howard has the nerve to ask if her decision to quit her job at Schweikart and Cokely was influenced by Jimmy:
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Shows signs of this. While her job is all about trying to help people, she's shown to go out of her way to help others even on her free time.
- Conscience Makes You Go Back: Season 5 suggests this.
- After snapping at Acker when he refuses to move despite not being in the legal right, she goes back and tries to help him by suggesting they look for houses together. She's rejected, but it's the thought that counts.
- Later she decides to clean up the remains of the bottles she and Jimmy threw to their apartment's parking lot, even after Jimmy points out that their groundskeeper is paid to do it.
- Contralto of Danger: Has a taste for danger, and a deep voice.
- Contrasting Sequel Main Character: Despite both being blonde leading ladies, Kim is the anti-Skyler in most aspects:
- Skyler is a mother who is defined by her family, while Kim is firmly on the side of career in the Family Versus Career spectrum.
- Kim always has Jimmy's trust in his slide toward darkness, while Skyler was kept in the dark despite Walt's many suspicious behavior.
- Despite loving Walter, Skyler tended to be critical of him (which some have blamed for the excessive fan hostility towards her character). Kim is incredibly supportive of Jimmy in the things he does, unless he hurts her career in some way.
- Skyler was a failed novelist, while Kim is very competent at her job as as a lawyer.
- Skyler was a housewife who cheated on her husband (in fairness, only after she found out about his double life), while Kim starts off a single lady who nonetheless only has eyes for Jimmy.
- Corrupt the Cutie: She really wants to be an ethical lawyer but she also doesn't want to drive away Jimmy. The problem is Jimmy's help tend to involve disbarment offenses and gives what her hard works fails to accomplish which slowly forces her to turn a blind eye on Jimmy's actions.
- Dark and Troubled Past: May have had one when she lived in the Midwest, given how she stammers over her responses when Schweikert asks her about her personal background. In "The Guy For This" she tells an elderly man who is refusing to vacate his property — which Mesa Verde has purchased and intends to demolish — that during her childhood she often had to vacate the homes her family was renting at incredibly short notice due to her parents constantly defaulting on the rent. The man instantly dismisses her story as a pack of lies, however, leaving it ambiguous as to how truthful she's being.
- Implied in "Wexler V. Goodman" that her mother was an alcoholic, who put Kim at risk by drunk-driving and expected her not to notice. As such, Kim hates liars and thus this sets up her reaction to how Saul lies to her during this episode. On this note, Kim's shown a tendency to drink heavily when she is stressed, which may well run in the family.
- Exact Words: Kim is very careful to never speak aloud her suspicion that Jimmy altered the Mesa Verde documents, as knowing and not acting would get her disbarred. She does, however, tell him to ensure that "his I's are dotted and his T's are crossed" to warn him that Chuck will be investigating how Jimmy forged the documents. She also confesses to Paige and Kevin that Jimmy is suspected of forgery that caused their project to be withheld and drew them to her but she never says she knows that it's true.
- Evil Feels Good: After some initial hesitation, she eagerly jumps into Jimmy's impromptu scam on Ken Wins, then is giddy enough afterwards to sleep with him. Though the next day she comes to her senses and doesn't respond to Jimmy's attempt to make her his new partner in crime. Every subsequent scam, though, gives her a bigger and bigger high.
- Evil Is Petty: Becomes very petty in "Something Unforgivable", when she decides that Howard insinuating that Kim quit Mesa Verde and S&C offends her so much that she's willing to ruin the man's career over it.
- FaceHeel Turn: As of Something Unforgivable, Kim has officially graduated from harmless scams done just for fun to pushing for a scheme that may completely ruin Howard Hamlin so she and Jimmy can get the Sandpiper Crossing money as soon as possible. Even Jimmy seems taken aback.
- Foil: To Skyler White. Both are the blonde-haired wives of their shows' main character, who get sucked into their husbands' criminal activities. But whereas Skyler won't accept even one shred of wrongdoing on behalf of Walt, Kim is seen to be endlessly understanding of Jimmy. Skyler immediately divorces Walter as soon as she suspects he's involved in drugs, whereas Kim is accepting of Jimmy's actions no matter how devious they seem to become, and even grows closer to Jimmy as opposed to Skyler who moves further and further away from Walt. Whereas Skyler has no tolerance, Kim's tolerance is unlimited. Morally, Kim is sympathetic toward Jimmy because she sees his personal anguish as more relevant than his actions being objectively wrong, whereas Skyler cares more about the objective appearance of maintaining a happy family and even at times ignores the personal reality of Walt's experience- even cancer is not an excuse for her. Whereas with Kim, if Jimmy was wrongfully betrayed by his brother, that's good enough for her. She cares more about the humanity than the objective appearances, the exact opposite of Skyler.
- Guilt-Ridden Accomplice: She tries to maintain Plausible Deniability about the Mesa Verde forgery but she quickly realizes that Jimmy is guilty. Nevertheless she protects him because she needs the income Mesa Verde brings her law practice and she wants to get back at Chuck and Howard for their mistreatment of her and Jimmy. However, she starts feeling guilty about what is happening to Chuck as a result and starts to realize that Jimmy's actions were partially motivated by spite and not just a Grand Romantic Gesture to her.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She's blonde and is one of the nicest characters.
- Hello, Attorney!: She's very attractive, as is appreciated by Jimmy.
- Heroic RRoD: In Season 3, she stretches herself extremely thin—between being on retainer for Mesa Verde, picking up the slack from Jimmy's practice, defending Jimmy in the State Bar hearing and taking on a new major client, she is pulling all-nighters on a regular basis. This comes to bite her in the ass when her fatigue causes her to run off the side of the freeway, very nearly killing her.
- Living Lie Detector: Knows Jimmy well enough to see through his bullshit (most of the time), but rather than an innate ability,it is a skill she learns over their time together.
- The Movie Buff: Loves to watch old movies with Jimmy and decorates her flat with old movie posters. When Jimmy first suggests they buy a house together he attempts to win her over by suggesting they install a home cinema.
- Morality Chain: By Season 2 she's the only person whose approval Jimmy takes seriously, causing him to back down from his usual antics and play things more by the book.
- Nice Girl: Narky moments aide, Kim is an honest hard-working lawyer, loyal employee at HHM, and a good friend to Jimmy who genuinely cares about his life and stays at his side through thick (Chuck's hospital stay) and thin (scoping out Jimmy's potential office space).
- This quality does become more and more questionable throughout the Seasons however, particularly as her professional relationship with Howard Hamlin sours. Although she still has her morals such as wanting to help the downtrodden,she does become increasingly more willing to engage in ethically dubious actions such as planning to Howard's career just because he patronised her.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- Helps Jimmy land a great job at Davis & Main, and even persuades Howard to put in a good word. Jimmy ends up pissing off his bosses post-haste, and Howard blames Kim for the backlash.
- Later, she emotionally and professionally supports Jimmy during his disbarment hearing and for some time after it, defending him from Howard and Chuck in any way she can, only for Jimmy to secretly return to shady dealings and spend most of a year allowing her to think he's holding down a legitimate job instead of selling untraceable phones to criminals. This ends with Jimmy dragging her into his mess after his bodyguard Huell accidentally knocks down a plainclothes police officer. And then she slips with a much larger scam to get Huell off with a few months of probation.
- Not So Stoic: Despite generally being rather straight laced, she can't help giving a Big "YES!" and doing a little happy dance in Rebecca after finally landing some clients. Later on when she retells how her important meeting went to Jimmy she goes full Motor Mouth on how she thinks things went well.
- Old Flame: She seems to have had a prior romantic relationship with Jimmy, and each scene with them smacks of untold history. In the Flashback at the beginning of "RICO," they excitedly kiss after receiving good news.
- Only Friend: Other than Chuck, who isn't as supportive as we're first led to believe, she's Jimmy's only clear friend in Albuquerque. Even after his confession tape tactical fuckup.
- Plausible Deniability: Her relationship with Jimmy relies on this. As a lawyer she is obligated to report to the bar association if she witnesses another lawyer behave unethically. However, as long as she does not personally see Jimmy do something unethical and Jimmy does not tell her about it, she is off the hook. If Jimmy is caught, she can legitimately claim that while she might have had suspicions, she never had any evidence to substantiate those suspicions.
- Poke the Poodle: Initially, at least, this is how she sees running cons with Jimmy; she'll help Jimmy trick someone into buying an expensive bottle of tequila, but she won't cash a $10,000 check acquired through grift. However she want out when she realized Jimmy can't stop breaking rules.
- Positive Friend Influence: She usually works to set limits on Jimmy's schemes and, when things get really bad, to provide him with legitimate alternatives to his unethical and borderline illegal activities. That said, she still enjoys their small-time scams and has no intention of letting Jimmy go to jail or permanently lose his law license.
- Reassigned to Antarctica:
- After the Kettlemans fire her, Howard moves her to an office on the other end of the building. Jimmy refers to this as "moving her to the cornfield" and Kim thinks that this will set her career back about eight years. Jimmy manages to save her by persuading the Kettlemans to rehire her.
- She's sent back to the "the cornfield" again after Jimmy runs his D&M ad without authorization. Even an attempt to save herself by bringing in the Mesa Verde case to HHM doesn't initially accomplish anything, and Chuck eventually has to intervene with Howard to restore her to her previous position. Despite this, Howard makes it as clear as he can without actually saying it that she has torched any real prospect of advancing beyond said position, let alone making partner status, ultimately resulting in her deciding to leave the company.
- Screw the Money, I Have Rules!: She enjoys Jimmy's con games, but not when they start to inch towards major financial scams. Additionally, when she quits HHM to become a solo practitioner, her initial impulse it to offer to pay back the balance of the law school tuition they paid for her. She later does so for real when Howard uses this against her.
- Spotting the Thread: Works out that Jimmy did, in fact, help her out by undercutting Chuck via fraud almost immediately, despite backing him up. It's just so Jimmy-in-con-mode to deny involvement and then obfuscate by deflection and bickering with his brother, rather than just simply deny and then play along with the conversation.
- Tomboyish Ponytail: Her regular hairstyle is a ponytail.
- To Be Lawful or Good: It's usually her kindness getting in the way of upholding the law. She thinks Jimmy could be a better person if properly supported, a young father with a family to support might deserve a lighter sentence and evicting an old man from their home is horrible even if she is not only legally in the right but it's the pigheadedness of the people she empathizes with that is the real issue.
- Tranquil Fury: Does this a lot when telling people off, in contrast to Jimmy's shock in awe. Especially in Season 5 to Kevin Wachtell when she calls him out for ignoring her advice.
- True Blue Femininity: Is constantly shown wearing blue, which fits into a conservative legal setting.
- Uncertain Doom: The fact that she's never so much as referenced even once in Breaking Bad has a lot of fans quite worried about how her story will end. Though Rhea Seehorn herself has argued that since Saul's home life is never seen on that show as he's mostly seen in his strip mall office, she could still very well be living happily with him. Notably even the one time so far we've seen "Gene"'s home in Nebraska, it's not definitive that he's living alone.
- Ungrateful Bitch: Averted. Howard tries to imply this. He goes on about how he put Kim through law school and trained her up - conveniently forgetting how he reassigned her to Antarctica twice (the far office in season one and doc review in season two), engineered the situation where Chuck poaches Mesa Verde from her and tried to get her friend Jimmy imprisoned and disbarred. He gets the Shut Up, Hannibal!! that he deserves for that.
- Violently Protective Girlfriend: Not violent, but when danger walks into her home and threatens her husband (and her too, but she doesn't care), she will stand up, absolutely fearless, and talk you out of her home.
- What the Hell, Hero?:
- While more or less OK with extracurricular cons that don't directly impact their sphere of work, she calls Jimmy out when he falsifies evidence and puts his (and her) career in jeopardy.
- Delivers another fine one to slap Chuck in the face with the observation about how much he's treated his younger brother for years has directly impacted how Jimmy's turned out. She's right, even though she's also lying.
- Then after calling Chuck out, she gives Jimmy repeated punches on his arms to let him know that, yes, she knew he did tamper with the Mesa Verde documents after specifically telling him not to intervene.
- She gives a non-verbal one in just her look towards Jimmy when he throws Howard's guilt for Chuck's suicide back in his face.
- Work Hard, Play Hard: Strong hints of this. She works her tail off and blows off steam by hanging out with Jimmy... and occasionally taking part in his cons. Bars are often involved, not just movie night and pedicures. It's also hinted when she starts calling up old law school friends, as one of the conversations seems to involve the person she's talking to recalling some drunken escapades.
- Deconstructed later on, when she starts to pull back from both drinking and from Jimmy's con games, and instead starts using more personally fulfilling work as a public defender as her "release valve" from the stress and tedium of representing Mesa Verde, thereby avoiding both overwork and unhealthy coping strategies. Naturally, Jimmy's antics start to drag her down anyway.
Jimmy and Kim's new secretary after they start their own firm.
- Call-Forward: She'd previously appeared in Breaking Bad, still Jimmy's secretary in his new life as Saul.
- Dramatic Irony: Her pleasant, warm personality and friendly relationship with Jimmy is a far cry from the Francesca we'll come to know in Breaking Bad, in which she's bitter, apathetic, opportunistic and makes no secret of her dislike for Saul.
- For Want of a Nail: Jimmy hired her entirely because she was the first applicant to show up and he wanted to get the business moving. This will send her down the road of losing her bubbly personality and becoming a bitter and jaded person still chained to crooked lawyer Saul.
A paralegal that Kim hires after her car accident.
- Beleaguered Assistant: Kim tasks her with doing jobs that aren't in her job description, like driving her (Kim) around town.
Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill
HHM is a prominent Albuquerque law firm.
Howard Hamlin is a name partner toeing the company line for hugely successful Albuquerque law firm Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill. Howard is one of lifes effortless winners.
- The Ace: Part of the reason why Jimmy hated him in Season 1 before the big reveal was due to his belief that Howard's wild success is one that he doesn't really deserve. He's not entirely wrong: Big Pappa Hamlin did pull strings to get his little boy to be the perfect partner for the firm... but, Howard may well not have as much joy out of the whole package as Jimmy originally assumed, given he was most likely railroaded into it.
- Amoral Attorney: Jimmy believes that Howard is willing to do anything to prevent Chuck from exercising his right to sell his share of the firm. Jimmy is also convinced that Howard has a personal grudge against Jimmy and repeatedly goes out of his way to hold him back. In reality, Howard may be quite a bit of a jerk, but he's only actually doing Chuck's bidding in holding Jimmy back. Otherwise, Howard appears to be a fine lawyer and isn't seen doing anything legally wrong.
- Arch-Enemy: Jimmy despises him and is convinced that a personal vendetta between the two of them is the source of most of Jimmy's problems. In reality, it's Chuck who is pulling Howard's strings. Howard admits at the end of Season 1 that he's actually fond of Jimmy and helps him land an interview for a good job. At least until the commercial fiasco and Mesa Verde forgery.
- Armor-Piercing Response: To Kim in Season 5, "You know who really knew Jimmy? Chuck.".
- Being Good Sucks: Howard's not the most lovable guy around, but he does seem to keep quiet and take the heat for Chuck's keeping Jimmy out of HHM at least in part out of consideration for Jimmy's feelings. Even if it leads to Jimmy antagonizing him at every turn, he never really lets it get to him given the circumstances. When he helps Jimmy get a job at Davis & Main, Jimmy screws it up almost immediately, making HHM and Howard look bad professionally. He repeatedly and subtly tries to get Chuck to see that Jimmy isn't the all-mighty, corrupting Sevengali-on-legs he likes to think of him as. Howard's not as insistent as he could be, however: and, Chuck isn't about to start listening, anyway. This means he repeatedly gets to see Chuck try to undermine his brother (and Kim) and gets caught up in it, even though he'd probably rather not be.
- Benevolent Boss: Not usually but the best example would be when he willingly puts himself into debt to bribe Chuck to leave and save his HHM employees.
- Berserk Button:
- Impugning the firm's (and by extension, Howard's) reputation.
- He does not like being questioned about his decisions, particularly not by those not senior partners.
- Big Bad: How Jimmy sees him, since Howard has ostensibly been doing his best to see that Jimmy never succeeds as a lawyer. It's actually Chuck who's been blocking Jimmy, though Howard likely never raised any major objections due to believing Jimmy wouldn't make a good addition to the firm, given his con-artist history.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: An inversion, as it turns out Chuck is the real one. But then played straight when Kim leaves the firm and tries to take Mesa Verde with her; Howard subtly manoeuvrers Chuck into doing everything possible to retain them. In his defence, it is his job to retain big clients by any means going, short of going illegal and, Kim did bring them on board while working for the firm.
- Broken Ace: As of Season 4, the death of Chuck and his belief that it was his fault seems to be taking a serious toll on Howard. HHM is on hard times and he himself is a nervous wreck, plagued by insomnia and seeing his therapist twice a week.
- Butt-Monkey: From Season 2 onwards, Howard has to endure, in order:
- Jimmy tricking Chuck into making a clerical error that costs Howard's firm a major client, Mesa Verde.
- Howard being humiliated at Jimmy's bar hearing when Chuck's electromagnetic sensitivity is publicly revealed to be a mental illness.
- Howard's firm being slapped with a rate hike by their malpractice insurer when they learn that Chuck, with his untreated mental issues, is practicing law.
- Chuck threatening to sue Howard when he suggests retiring from the firm to appease their insurer, which necessitates Howard being forced to buy out Chuck out of his own pocket in order to save the firm. In large part because of this, Chuck commits suicide.
- Howard blaming himself for Chuck's death and baring his soul to Jimmy and Kim, who end up throwing the guilt back in his face. He begins suffering from insomnia as the firm struggles to pay off Chuck's estate and is forced to lay off staffers.
- After stabilizing the firm, Howard gives a sincere job offer to Jimmy (by now practicing as Saul Goodman), only for Jimmy to subject him to a series of humiliating pranks in response, first by throwing bowling balls at his car, then sending prostitutes to approach him during a business lunch with Cliff Main, and going on an over-the-top tirade at him in the courthouse. Then when Howard tells Kim about Jimmy's actions in a condescending tone and states that he thinks Chuck knew him best, Kim laughs in his face and resolves to destroy Howard's career via the Sandpiper case.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': For the most part, Howard repeatedly tries to steer Chuck away from his vendetta against Jimmy. However, the one time he attempts to use it to his advantage for the sake of the firm keeping Mesa Verde, it backfires massively.
- Character Development: Howard goes through quite a lot despite Commuting on a Bus. He starts off as a slightly smug lackey of Chuck who isn't necessarily a bad guy, but he is something of a condescending doink. As seasons 1-3 progress, he gradually becomes disillusioned with Chuck, eventually standing up to him and ultimately ending their professional relationship and friendship. He then spends much of Season 4 in a haze of intense depression, having been humbled and ripped apart with needless guilt, but with therapy, he comes back in Season 5 stronger than ever. He shows himself to be more sincere, is standing on his own without Chuck, and no longer blames himself for Chuck's death. Comments that would have destroyed him previously roll off him, as do Saul's horrible pranks.
- Commuting on a Bus: Though he remains a series regular, his role in seasons 4 and 5 is essentially this. He's noticeably the only main cast character who's personal life we never see outside of work.
- Cruel to Be Kind: He repeatedly dashes Jimmy's hopes of ever being a part of HHM because he doesn't want Jimmy to know it's really his brother who doesn't want him there.
- Death Glare: Gives an epic one to Chuck after he declares, "I'm not CRAZY!".
- Demoted to Extra: In Season 4 and 5, although he still gets main cast billing. The few scenes that he does have in these seasons are almost always very memorable, however.
- Disney Owns This Trope: Rightfully points out that Jimmy's new brand infringes his practice's trademarks due to matching many elements very closely, but still gets in on this trope through their legal use of "Hamlindigo Blue". You can almost hear the "registered trademark" afterwards.
- Disproportionate Retribution: He holds Kim totally responsible for Jimmy's commercial screw-up and basically refuses to trust her at all anymore because of this. When Chuck asks that she be brought back to the forefront, Howard refuses to talk to her at first.
- The Dog Bites Back: Chuck treats Howard rather poorly, dragging him kicking and screaming into his feud with Jimmy and disregarding Howards concerns with thinly-veiled condescension. But after Chuck threatens to sue HHM, Howard goes the extra mile to call his bluff and sends his ass packing, taking the opportunity to humiliate him by having the entire office applaud his retirement while hes at it.
- The Dragon: To Chuck. Especially when he firmly fills in as Kim's Evil Counterpart in Season 3 after the Mesa Verde saga, to Jimmy's Chuck.
- Didn't See That Coming: When steering Chuck into taking back the partners from Kim, he evidently didn't forsee that Jimmy would be reckless enough in his revenge against Chuck regarding the forgery scheme. He most certainly never imagined that Chuck would be so cruel as to threaten the firm itself, either.
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: He is deeply hurt that after years of working together and being a loyal partner to Chuck, Chuck would rather treat Howard like a disloyal upstart and threaten to destroy HHM if he does not get his way. Howard feels that he deserves Chuck's respect and instead Chuck treats him like an unruly child that needs to be put in its place. Prior to this, Howard also fully supported Jimmy at HHM, but acquiesced to Chuck's veto. When Chuck's revealed to be behind Jimmy's failed attempt to hire on at HHM, Howard points out that he always liked Jimmy.
- Exact Words: "The partners have decided."
- The Face: It is strongly implied that Howard is not a skilled litigator and would never have been made a name partner of a law firm if it wasn't for his father's nepotism. His main role at HHM is client development, which generally involves him wearing expensive suits and charming potential clients over expensive lunches. Jimmy curtly tells him to use this when HHM threatens to go under:Jimmy McGill: You're a shitty lawyer, Howard, but you're a great salesman. So get out there and sell.Howard Hamlin: Fuck you, Jimmy!
- Foil: To Chuck.
- Chuck is idealistic, eloquent, and soft-spoken. He is also a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Howard, on the other hand, is smug, superior, and egoistical. However, he makes it clear that everything he does, he does it for the sake of the firm. He doesn't keep Jimmy out of his law firm out of some idealistic belief or the fear that such a hire might be construed as nepotism like Chuck he merely follows Chuck's direction, since he views Chuck's loyalty and friendship as paramount.
- Chuck is a brilliant man and a talented lawyer but seriously lacking in charm and social skills. Howard is less talented as a litigator but charming and confident with a knack of wooing new clients.
- Chuck pretends to be on Jimmy's side whilst secretly sabotaging him professionally. Howard makes no such pretences, but actually does seem to want Jimmy to succeed.
- His treatment of Kim in Season 2 further underlines his difference with Chuck. Not only does he make his contempt painfully obvious to people who he thinks have wronged him, he actually has a professional reason to do so (Kim is the one who talked him into recommending Jimmy to Davis & Main, and so Jimmy's conduct reflects badly on Howard). Contrast this to Chuck, who prefers to slowly poison the career of those who he thinks have crossed him, and whose reasons for doing so are mostly personal.
- Unlike Chuck in "Pimento", who has to be cornered to say his true feelings, Howard has no problem telling Jimmy to his face exactly what he thinks.
- For all Chuck's bluster at protecting HHM, Howard's the one who puts himself on the line for the firm, taking out loans and paying out of his own pocket to buy out Chuck's share. At the first hint that Howard disagrees with him, however, Chuck attempts to force himself on the firm, even if it leads to crippling insurance hikes.
- Genre Savvy: Whilst Kim is (at first) kind of oblivious to the sleazier parts of Jimmy's personality and Chuck is oblivious to the nobler parts, Howard recognizes him as a hustler but also seems to respect him as a person.
- Gone Horribly Wrong: Howard wanted to retain Mesa Verde, and used Chuck's vendetta against Jimmy to help him do it. It results in Jimmy defrauding his firm, and leads to the professional and mental collapse (and eventual suicide) of his law partner.
- Granola Guy: Aspires to be humble and zen but gets everything amusingly wrong. He has a depiction of the Buddha in his office—in the form of an expensive-looking original artwork. He orders plain, simple, healthy meals—as a regular customer of one of Albuquerque's most expensive restaurants. Best of all, he has a Vanity License Plate which reads "NAMAST3"... on his Jaguar XJ8.
- It is hinted that his new-found kind and forgiving attitude towards Jimmy in season 5 is insincere, and may be motivated more by guilt, or on the suggestion of his therapist. In any case that hug looks extremely awkward.
- Hero Antagonist: Is opposed to Jimmy, and played straighter than Chuck, as most of Howard's actions are for business and what any reasonable lawyer would do in his situation. Jimmy is actually the one antagonizing him for most of the first season, as Howard simply responds in kind.
- Hypocrite: The flaw in the solid argument that Jimmy couldn't be hired due to nepotism is that Hamlin was dragged by his father into the firm, which gives precedent and shows that Chuck was the one forcing his hand.
- Innocently Insensitive: His incredibly privileged and sheltered upbringing has left him unable to relate to those less fortunate than himself, and he genuinely can't understand why the struggling likes of Kim and Jimmy often find his words so insulting.
- He considers his pet name for Jimmy, "Charlie Hustle" a compliment and can't see why Jimmy finds it so belittling to be referred to as essentially a scrappier, dodgier version of his honest and successful older brother.
- When he asks Kim if her decision to quit Schweikart and Cokely was influenced by Jimmy she asks him "Do you have any idea how insulting that is?". He genuinely doesn't.
- Jerkass: In the first couple of seasons, he is a Mean Boss to Kim, frequently butts heads with Jimmy, and seems more interested in his firm's future than Chuck's rights. The reality is a bit more complicated.
- Jerkass Has a Point: When Kim grills him on the stand and demonstrates that it's true that Chuck didn't want to hire Jimmy for reasons personal to him, Howard counters that he did consider hiring Jimmy, and even after Chuck vetoed it, he helped get Jimmy a great job that he quickly screwed up. Kim backtracks as she realizes that this statement is true and not helping her case.
- He's 100% correct in realizing that Jimmy is just trying to get the Sandpiper case settled quickly because all he cares about is his own payday, since Jimmy later resorts to petty manipulation and dirty tactics to trick the Sandpiper residents into settling as soon as possible. It doesn't help that at the time he was also busy trying to deal with Chuck's threats of legal action.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: His Pet the Dog moment in the Season 1 finale shows that some of his actions thus far had not been of his own choosing, and that he's actually more sympathetic to Jimmy than he'd seemed. The heart of gold is shown again when he wipes Kim's scholarship debt in a Pet the Dog moment. It's demonstrated further in the careful, sympathetic way he treats both Jimmy and Kim in the wake of Chuck's death.
- Kick the Dog:
- He crushes Jimmy's hopes of becoming successful by bringing the Kettlemans back into the fold.
- Also crushes Jimmy's dream of working as a lawyer in his older brother's prestigious firm while eating a piece of Jimmy's "Congratulations" cake, no less. While it was actually Chuck who didn't want Jimmy working at HHM, Howard's timing was rather tactless.
- After the stubborn and ignorant Kettlemans walk out on Kim, he blames her and takes away her office, relegating her to the dreaded "Corn Field."
- In Pimento, he refuses to take Jimmy on as a lawyer even after he presents him with a major multimillion dollar case, and refuses to hear Kim's defence. This is somewhat subverted, however, with the revelation that it was Chuck who had been blocking Jimmy from coming on at HHM all along, and Howard had little choice but to go along with his partner on the matter.
- When Jimmy's commercial stunt ends up making him and the firm look bad, Howard puts the heat on Kim, relegating her to menial duties and refusing to reinstate her (even after she wins them an incredibly lucrative deal) until Chuck intercedes on her behalf. Even then, he's still incredibly cold to her.
- After Kim and Jimmy provoke Chuck into a breakdown during Jimmy's hearing, Howard attempts to humiliate Kim in public and before her new clients through Passive-Aggressive Kombat.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch:
- Calling Jimmy transparent and pathetic is a bit crass, but still more than justified given the dastardly Alpha Bitch-like plan Jimmy enacts later on in that episode.
- Instead of giving Chuck a retirement party, he loudly announces to his employees that Chuck is retiring, prompting loud applauding and flashy cell phone photos as Chuck is subtly led out of the building.
- Manipulative Bastard: When Kim leaves HHM and seems ready to take the Mesa Verde clients with her, Howard deliberately "forgets" to tell Chuck that she's not actually law partners with Jimmy, knowing that Chuck will do everything possible to undermine their "joint" practice.
- Mean Boss: His treatment of Kim falls into this. He threatens to demote her because she loses the Kettlemans as clients when it is clear they are total idiots divorced from reality and that nothing Kim could have done would have satisfied them. He basically reassigns Kim to the other side of the office for something that was pretty much out of her control. She is then demoted to the Cornfield because of something that Jimmy did and then lied to her about. Mind you, he's not a totally irredeemable bastard: he does give her a good parting package when she leaves the firm and acknowledges her worth to her face, to boot but it doesn't stop him undercutting her via Chuck, of course.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He's near tears when he greatly laments kicking Chuck from the firm, believing that it led directly to his suicide.
- Nepotism: Downplayed, he is a qualified lawyer and in fact would have had preferred working for himself, but his dad forced him to found HHM and be one of the bosses.
- Nerves of Steel: While he had to visit a therapist after Chuck's death, by season 5 Howard is surprisingly polite to Jimmy, who has been trying to make his life as miserable as possible.
- Never My Fault: Chuck was mentally ill after all, and Howard did keep this from the clients. So any damage control he now has to engage in with clients stems from not being open with them in the first place, and he can't pin it on Kim and Jimmy.
- Nice Guy: When not being Chuck's puppet. Howard fully grows into this by Season 5 where he lets bygones be bygones and even outright offers Jimmy a job at HHM as an olive branch. Unfortunately for Howard, the bitter conman is way too broken from his feud with Chuck to even consider it. Howard doesn't retaliate from Jimmy's pranks, only responding by saying he's sorry that Jimmy's in pain about Chuck's death.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
- On the receiving end of this when he and Kim recommend Jimmy to Davis and Main, only for the Ungrateful Bastard to screw up and air a commercial behind Cliff's back and make HMM look bad by association.
- Later in Season 2, Jimmy humiliates Howard and HHM as collateral damage in his forgery scheme to 'help' Kim and get back at Chuck.
- Then in Season 4, when he bares his soul to Jimmy and Kim about the role he thinks he played in Chuck's suicide, Jimmy coldly piles on the guilt with the episode's Wham Line.
- Not Me This Time: Howard has demonstrated some Jerkass behavior toward Chuck and Kim, but it isn't entirely his fault that Jimmy can't get hired at HHM.
- Only Sane Man: Definitely qualifies by Season 3. He has his firm stuck in a crossfire between two brothers and just wishes to move on and practice law.
- OOC Is Serious Business: In his season 4 appearances the normally calm, unflappable and immaculately-dressed Howard seems stressed and even a little dishevelled, and he reveals he is in therapy. The stress and guilt over Chuck's suicide are obviously taking their toll.
- Out of Focus: Season 4, despite still billing Patrick Fabian as a main cast member, has Howard's role dropping away to virtually nothing after the first couple of episodes, largely due to the show's focus moving away from the world of corporate law (outside of Kim's sub-plots) and more towards the various criminal activities of Jimmy on the one hand, and Mike and Gus on the other. It becomes more clear in season 5 when he runs into Saul at the courthouse while Saul is waiting for a meeting with ADA Ericsen.
- Pet the Dog: Several times. For a certified pain-in-the-rear, Howard gets a lot of fluffy moments.
- When he barks at Kim about not caring what she thinks, he immediately feels guilty and calls her back into his office to explain the truth of the situation. It's clear that the only reason he went off on her in the first place is that he was overwhelmed by having to play the bad guy on Chuck's behalf, especially in front of one of his most beloved protegees.
- The "Pimento" Kick the Dog example above is actually a subversion of that trope Hamlin is actually trying to spare Jimmy's feelings and respect Chuck's wishes, even though it makes him look bad by covering up the real reason that Jimmy can't advance his brother's mistrust. Moreover, after losing his temper with Kim for pressing him on the issue, he immediately realizes both that he is being an ass and that she is trustworthy, and tells her the truth with nothing to gain by doing so.
- Played straight in the first season finale. He expresses awe when Jimmy hands him the list of all of Chuck's needs and provisions, marveling at the lengths to which Jimmy went in order to successfully provide for Chuck by himself for over a year. He's quick to assure Jimmy that Chuck will be cared for properly. In fact, he and Kim had a hand in asking Davis & Main to consider taking on Jimmy.
- In Season 2, when he stops by Chuck's house on a grocery run, Howard tells Chuck that he gave Davis & Main a honest description of Jimmy, including his past and diploma, but he also tells Chuck that he didn't bash him to a law firm that wanted to recruit him.
- He wiped out Kim's scholarship debt as a parting gift and expresses that he kind of envies her working solo. Granted, he did start the meeting off a little prickly (when he thought she was jumping ship to another firm), but seemed to genuinely warm up when what she was actually up to became clear. Then came the pat on the head.
- He also gives Chuck some good tactical advice on not taking the stand in the court case against Jimmy; sadly (sort of), Chuck doesn't listen.
- He puts himself into debt to cash out Chuck in order to save HHM.
- He urges Jimmy not to look at Chuck's body in the coroner's van, phones Jimmy to have him approve the gushing obituary HHM plans to print before Chuck's funeral, and finally confesses to Jimmy and Kim about the role he thinks he played in Chuck's suicide. The last act quickly turns into an example of No Good Deed Goes Unpunished when Jimmy throws Howard's guilt back in his face.
- Precision F-Strike:
Howard: In what world is that anything but the deepest betrayal of our friendship?Chuck: I could argue that you're the one who betrayed me.Howard: That's bullshit. And you know it.
- Chuck threatening to sue HHM is what finally gets Howard to take the gloves off.
Howard: Fuck you, Jimmy.
- Taken Up to Eleven when Jimmy insults him for moping around in the aftermath of Chuck's death.
- Reassigned to Antarctica: He's fond of this tactic whenever he blames Kim.
- He sends her to the east wing of the firm, which Jimmy dubs "The Cornfield", after the Kettlemans fire her for not keeping up with their impossible standards in court, extending her career progression by years.
- After Jimmy runs his unauthorized advert and makes HHM look bad in front of Davis & Main, he assigns Kim to doc review for her role in pushing Jimmy as a law firm partner.
- Red Herring: He's set up to be Jimmy's polar opposite and Arch-Nemesis. In reality, Jimmy's brother Chuck is the one who's been holding him back, not Howard. After the truth comes out and Kim and Howard helps Jimmy get a job at Davis & Main, the two of them seem to be on better terms.
- Shadow Archetype: By Season 4 and 5, he ends up as one to Jimmy. Both of them take Chuck's death harshly despite cutting ties with their former idol, with Howard believing he mainly caused the suicide while Jimmy silently lives with the guilt of playing a role through the insurance hikes he incited. Despite looking worse for wear, Howard eventually moved on and was able to grieve in a healthy manner after seeking professional help, while Jimmy bottled all of his feelings and let them push him into adopting the name of "Saul Goodman". Much of Jimmy's frustration with Howard throughout Season 5 stems from envy at seeing Hamlin being able to reconcile while he could not, despite their struggles sharing the same cause.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Howard is yet to be seen out of his expensive suits, and is always very well turned-out. In particular he favors knitted ties.
- Silent Scapegoat: It was actually Chuck who insisted that Jimmy never be hired as a lawyer for HHM while Hamlin makes it look like he's responsible. He later turns himself into a scapegoat for Chuck's death, believing it had everything to do with the way he pushed him out of HHM. He doesn't mention that Chuck's vindictive actions motivated Howard to do so, putting himself out of pocket in the process. He frames himself as a straight-up villain who drove Chuck to suicide, seemingly out of genuine belief that this is what happened. To make matters worse, Jimmy allows Howard to take all that guilt on by himself, essentially making Howard into a scapegoat for a second McGill brother.
- Slave to PR: Howard's extremely vain, and takes his reputation and that of HHM very seriously. He tries to avoid seeing Chuck committed or retired since it can mean debt-heavy payouts, hiked insurance costs, and loss of clients.
- The Social Expert: As The Face of HHM his people skills are indispensable, especially as his law partner Chuck isn't so hot in that department.
- Spear Counterpart: Essentially one to Kim. Both are blonde professional lawyers who put a lot toward their image and careers, and while they disapprove of their respective McGill's antics, they'll let it slide whenever it's convenient for them.
- Stepford Smiler: He tells Kim, while trying to remain smiling, that he wanted to work solo too until his dad forced him to be the second H of the company. You get the impression he's 100% on the up and up at that moment, no "perfect partner" mask. He also keeps trying to talk some sense into Chuck, but Chuck clearly sees his feud with his brother as more important than anything (up to and including their firm) and seems to increasingly treat Howard as just another employee in the vein of Ernie. When Howard fails to talk Chuck out of personally testifying against his brother, beneath it all Howard is clearly becoming more and more angry.
- Surrounded by Idiots: Or at least very smart people acting like idiots. Poor guy just wants to practice law, and he's stuck in the middle of Jimmy and Chuck's escalating pissing match, though that's mostly Chuck's doing.
- Take a Third Option: Presented with the options of letting Chuck back in, letting Chuck bankrupt the company via the severance pay and dragging HHM's name through the mud by litigating the case, he pays Chuck's severance pay out of his own pocket instead. All nine million dollars.
- Tempting Fate: Before Jimmy's bar hearing, Howard tries to dissuade Chuck from testifying, reasoning that they already have a good case with his own witness testimony and reminding Chuck that HHM's reputation is on the line if he does take the stand. Chuck's testimony is disastrous thanks to Jimmy's Batman Gambit.
- Tranquil Fury: Jimmy's billboard and commercial stunts both left him very upset. There's also the look on his face when Chuck plays Jimmy's confession tape for him. He's angry at Jimmy... but he also seems aggravated with Chuck for cutting him out of the loop to make his reaction to Chuck's 'resignation' more genuine. Howard has by this point realized that the rivalry between the brothers is beginning to affect his firm.
- Turn the Other Cheek: In season 5. After asking Jimmy to join HHM, he gets his car destroyed, a surprise visit from prostitutes during a business meeting, and Jimmy blames his personal problems on him. Howard is willing to ignore all of that, as long as Jimmy gives him an answer—even if it's a no.
- Undying Loyalty: To Hamlin, Hamlin, McGill. Demonstrated when he paid Chuck's debt owed to him both out of pocket and via loans rather than let the law firm his father started go under.
- This Is Unforgivable!: He only truly turns against Jimmy when he finds out through Chuck's cassette tape that, yes, Jimmy did forge the Mesa Verde documents. He is also done with Chuck's orders when he has the audacity to sue the firm because Howard asked him to retire after being clearly past his prime.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Jimmy believes that Howard has been purposefully exploiting Chuck by riding on on Chuck's reputation for years while Chuck sits uselessly at home with a neurotic condition. In reality, Howard isn't quite aware how bad Chuck's condition is.
- Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Believes himself to be one after Chuck's suicide, thinking that his decision to force Chuck out of HHM was what triggered it. That may be true for the wrong reason, as it was Howard's decision to talk Chuck into luring Mesa Verde away from Kim that escalated the McGill feud to begin with.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Implied as part of his backstory mentioned above under Stepford Smiler.
- What the Hell, Hero?: To both McGill brothers. He calls Jimmy out about trying to force a settlement with Sandpiper;"All you care about is your share of the payout. It's like talking to Gollum. You're transparent. And pathetic. You want a handout? Here. Huh? Next time why don't you bring a tin cup? It'd be more honest."
- He then goes on to give a devastating one to Chuck after he attempts to sue HHM. He even follows it up in a way that is somehow both classy and vindictive: announcing Chuck's retirement, thanking him in front of everyone and allowing him to leave the building to a chorus of applause all while knowing Chuck is in emotional turmoil over the fact that Howard has proven himself the moral superior and called his bluff.Howard: 17 years. 18 in July, actually. All those years we built this place together. And all that time I've supported you. Looked up to you, deferred to you. Because I always thought you had the best interests of the firm in mind.Chuck: I have!Howard: Mnh. You did. For a long time. But you've let personal vendettas turn your focus away from what's best for HHM. You've put your needs first. To our detriment.Chuck: I don't think that's accurate.Howard: And the moment that I mildly suggest, with empathy and concern, that maybe it's time for you to consider retirement... the first instinct you have is to sue me?! To sue the firm? Well, I I-I don't even know I-In what world is that anything but the deepest betrayal of everything we worked so hard to accomplish? In what world is that anything but the deepest betrayal of our friendship?
- He then goes on to give a devastating one to Chuck after he attempts to sue HHM. He even follows it up in a way that is somehow both classy and vindictive: announcing Chuck's retirement, thanking him in front of everyone and allowing him to leave the building to a chorus of applause all while knowing Chuck is in emotional turmoil over the fact that Howard has proven himself the moral superior and called his bluff.
- Yes-Man: Jimmy starts seeing him more as this after season one, as he does a lot of Chuck's bidding for the sake of the firm, while he tries objecting, as long as Chuck can sell his shares, he can't shut him down. That is, until the last episodes of season 3, when Chuck's vendettas begin to hurt HHM financially.
- Zero-Approval Gambit: Howard willingly plays the part of the bad guy to Jimmy and Kim to keep the truth from them about Chuck. Downplayed in that he's only purposefully being an ass on this one issue, but he certainly doesn't have to do it for Chuck's sake.
An older lawyer working at HHM and participating in the Sandpiper case.
- Damned by Faint Praise: Jimmy bumps into him in the series premiere but only comments that he's 'well groomed.'
A junior employee at HHM who is moved out of the mailroom to become Chuck McGill's personal assistant.
- It's All My Fault: Blames himself for Jimmy getting arrested for the break-in, unaware that Chuck was manipulating him and Jimmy all along.
- Nice Guy: A pretty friendly and easy-going guy much like Omar, which Jimmy and Kim seem to pick up on and treat him accordingly. Which makes Chuck using and firing him come across as even more of a dick move.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: And how! Chuck fires him despite being a good carer and for the crime of being Jimmy's friend.
- No Respect Guy: Only Jimmy and Kim show him much in the way of personal respect. Chuck is polite enough, but also a little harsh and condescending to him. Chuck also fires him as soon as he has outlived his usefulness to him. Ernesto was assigned by HHM in a job way outside his comfort zone.
- Put on a Bus: He gets fired after executing Chuck's plan of letting Jimmy know about the tape, and hasn't been seen since.
- The Bus Came Back: Not chronologically, but he appears in the opening of Season 4's Episode 10, "Winner," during the flashback of Jimmy being sworn in as a lawyer.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: A rare Nice Guy example but still ultimately counts. After previously being told by Chuck to not reveal what he heard on Chuck's tape, he told Kim about it, who then told Jimmy, who then confronted Chuck. Even though this was all part of Chuck's plan to entrap Jimmy and Ernesto did exactly what Chuck wanted, Ernesto was still fired for violating Chuck's orders.
- Undying Loyalty: To Jimmy, even to the point of risking and ultimately losing his job.
- Unwitting Pawn: Chuck manipulates him into telling Jimmy about the confession tape, leading to Jimmy breaking in with witnesses.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Chuck fires him as soon as he serves his purpose in the plot to entrap Jimmy.
A private investigator hired by HHM to monitor Chuck and witness anything Jimmy tries to do to him.
A custodian working at HHM.
- Horrible Judge of Character: Keeps letting Jimmy bluff his way into the office despite not having any actual business there.
Davis and Main
Davis & Main is a law firm in Santa Fe that makes recurring appearances in Better Call Saul.
Clifford "Cliff" Main
One of the founding partners at the law firm of Davis & Main.
- Armor-Piercing Question: The only thing he asks Jimmy is how he wronged him, and Jimmy regretfully admits that Cliff did nothing to deserve that and it's his own fault for accepting a job despite knowing that he wouldn't fit in.
- Being Good Sucks: Cliff is a good man, but it doesn't help him when it comes to dealing with Jimmy. He's willing to look past Jimmy's sketchy history and even after Jimmy humiliates the firm, Cliff still gives him a second chance. The result of his efforts? The office is run through with chaos and unprofessional behavior.
- Benevolent Boss: Although as tough as the bosses at HHM, Cliff does treat his employees better than HHM, and suggests to Jimmy that he should find a way to vent his stress. He even gives Jimmy a second chance even when the associates were voting 2 to 1 in favor of terminating Jimmy over running the commercial without authorization.
- Cool Old Guy: Cliff is chill, genial and even plays guitar in his office.
- Good Is Not Soft: He might be the kind of guitar-playing, hip and understanding boss that you'd expect from a character played by Ed Begley Jr, but he's not a pushover and gets understandably upset when Jimmy goes behind his back to run a homemade Davis & Main ad without authorization. He also doesn't care about Jimmy's attempts to apologize since he is still taking his bonus from him.
- Nice Guy: Clifford is very friendly and does his best to make Jimmy feel at home at Davis & Main. Unfortunately, the niceties fly out the window when he learns that Jimmy aired a commercial for the firm without his permission.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He overlooked Jimmy's checkered past to offer him a position at Davis & Main. He gave Jimmy expensive perks, including a $7000 desk. He gave Jimmy a second chance after Jimmy aired an unauthorized commercial that could have damaged the firm's reputation. And Jimmy repaid him by purposely acting so obnoxiously that Clifford was forced to fire him but let him keep his signing bonus just to get rid of him.
- Pet the Dog: Despite Jimmy irritating him to the point of forcibly firing him and telling him off for being an asshole, he still shows up at Chuck's funeral and offers Jimmy his condolences.
- "Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives one to Jimmy that he honestly deserved.Jimmy: For what it's worth, Cliff, I think you're a good guy.Cliff: For what it's worth, I think you're an asshole.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Jimmy defends himself by showing result and interpreting his open mindedness to a commercial as justification for working behind his back, Cliff has none of that and points out that 30 seconds before leaving the building is not an agreement. Sure Jimmy didn't do it for evil but he didn't even get why what he did was wrong.
- What the Hell, Hero?: He admits that Jimmy is new to the whole teamwork thing, but doing things behind the company's back and jeopardizing the company's image over one case did not make him happy.Jimmy: You and I did discuss the possibility of a commercial.Cliff: The possibility in the abstract, for a grand total of 30 seconds when I was halfway out the door!
A senior partner at Davis & Main.
- Icy Blue Eyes: Has cold grey eyes, and these reflect her no-nonsense attitude and her ability to see how unprofessional Jimmys behavior is.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: When Jimmy is trying to defend himself about making this Sandpiper Crossing faster, she rebuts that this isnt the only case that Davis & Main is dealing with right now.
- What the Hell, Hero?: She and her colleagues denounces Jimmy for doing an end-run around the senior partners when he ran an unapproved commercial.
A senior partner at Davis & Main.
- Armor-Piercing Response: When Jimmy is trying to point out how professional his commercial is, Doug points out that Davis & Main has other clients whom wouldnt want to be associated with this type of material and image presented in the ad.
- Covered in Gunge: As part of Jimmys antics at Davis & Mains workplace to get fired while also keeping his bonus, this is one of them. He brings a juicer or the office, much to Dougs annoyance. But Jimmy then intentionally squirts fruit juice all over Dougs suit and tie, making him even more annoyed.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Jimmy: Exuberance is no excuse.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Along with Cliff and Cordova, he's angry with Jimmy for running unapproved commercial.
A junior lawyer at Davis & Main LLP, charged with supervising Jimmy.
- Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Jimmy can't when she's handling him. She stops him from doing anything that even comes close to toeing the line of ethical.
- Cloudcuckoolander's Minder: After Jimmy airs an unauthorized commercial, Erin is assigned to 'babysit' him.
- Go-Getter Girl: Erin devotes everything she has to her career with gratingly endless enthusiasm.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's a grating, overachieving pain in the ass, but she's still a good person who prides herself on being an ethical Rules Lawyer.
- Rules Lawyer: She follows the rules to the very letter, allowing no wiggle room whatsoever. Erin is even a stickler for the formatting of briefs; she often acts like she knows more about Davis & Main than Davis or Main. And she probably does.
- Stepford Smiler: Erin rarely lets her big bright smile drop in spite of what she's feeling. Jimmy does manage to wipe that smile off her face once or twice, however.
- Yes-Man: Very much so to Clifford Main, to Jimmy's annoyance when she's supervising him.
Another junior lawyer at Davis & Main LLP who is working on the Sandpiper case.
Jimmy's office secretary.
- Hidden Depths: It turns out, he has kids.
- Hypercompetent Sidekick: Not only is he good at his job, he saves Jimmy by pointing out how if Jimmy quit from Davis and Main in less than a year, Jimmy would lose the bonus he got from joining them.
- Nice Guy: A really polite secretary with a positive attitude. Truly goes above and beyond when he helps Jimmy move his stuff from Davis and Main, in the middle of the night, and refuses to take any compensation for doing so.
- Only Friend: After Jimmy's commercial, Omar is the only employee of Davis & Main who genuinely still likes him and likes working with him.
- Secret Keeper: Regarding Jimmy's desire to leave Davis and Main. Had he told Cliff Main about it, it might be considered cause to take Jimmy's signing bonus away. He still keeps it, even as Jimmy starts his campaign of getting himself fired rather than quit.
Schweikart and Cokely
A large law firm working for Sandpiper Crossing, a nursing home accused of defrauding its elderly residents.
Richard "Rich" Schweikart
Founding partner and Kim's boss at Schweikart & Cokely.
- Affably Evil: He's a little amoral in his tactics on behalf of Sandpiper Crossing and is certainly vicious enough in the courtroom, but he's also a genial, soft-spoken, professional guy who respects his opposition and doesn't hold a grudge.
- Amoral Attorney: After Sandpiper's fraud is discovered, he tries to bury opposition lawyers in mountains of paperwork that will prevent them from mounting an effective argument. Not illegal, but certainly not ethical.
- Benevolent Boss: He turns out to be a very supportive boss, who gives Kim chance after chance whereas Howard would have dropped her like a grenade.
- Deadpan Snarker: He has a rather sharp sense of humor, snarking that next time Jimmy uses toilet paper for litigation he should use double-ply.
- Friendly Enemy: Even though Schweikart is opposing council in the Sandpiper case (and opposed Jimmy personally when he first started investigating it), he's likable and pleasant. Jimmy gets off on the wrong foot with him a little ("Blow my magic flute") but grows to like him well enough, is happy that he offers a job to Kim. He also offers his condolences to Jimmy when he attends Chuck's funeral, calling Chuck "a hell of a lawyer."
- I Let You Win: A variation using this tactic. He and his firm throw softballs at Jimmy and Chuck when the Sandpiper Case is on, purposefully. By drowning the enemy side in paperwork and many trials that S&C knows it can't win, a small force of just Jimmy and Chuck won't have any time to surmount any reasonable defense and case.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He acts like an attack dog on behalf of Sandpiper Crossing, a company that is cheating retirees out of their money, because it's his job and he legally has to represent them to the best of his abilities.
- Villain Respect: He mentions several times how he has a great deal of respect and admiration for Chuck's abilities as a lawyer. He says as much to Jimmy at Chuck's funeral.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Rightly tells Kim in "Wexler vs Goodman", that it's fine if she airs any grievances in his office but not outside in front of other employees, as it's bad for morale.
- Villain Takes an Interest: In Kim Wexler, after seeing her legal talent in action, as well as seeing her put into an unwinnable situation without any support from HHM. In the next season, Kim ends up becoming a partner in his firm and bringing a big client along.
- You Remind Me of X: Tells Kim that a courtroom scenario she was placed in (trying to argue against a motion that a judge is nearly certain to rule against her on, without any support from the higher ups at her firm while the opposing legal side has all its big gun lawyers taking her on) reminds him of a similar situation he had to go through, and how it disillusioned him about the legal firm he was working at."They patted me on the back, said it was my trial by fire, and I laughed with them, but, you know, it never really sat well with me. You want them to have your back. Because at the end of the day, it wasn't about proving my mettle. My boss had a tee time that he didn't want to miss. I wasn't there long."
Partner at Schweikart and Cokely.
Partner at Schweikart and Cokely.
Lawyer working at Schweikart and Cokely. Visits the McGill siblings with Schweikart in an attempt to head off the Sandpiper case.
Lawyer working at Schweikart and Cokely. Visits the McGill siblings with Schweikart in an attempt to head off the Sandpiper case.
Mesa Verde Bank & Trust
A regional chain of banks with its own in-house counsel.
Senior counsel for Mesa Verde. She persuades her boss, Kevin Wachtell, to hire HHM to help with their interstate expansion project, after being approached by her old friend Kim Wexler.
- Number Two: To Kevin, at least in legal matters at Mesa Verde.
- Oblivious Guilt Slinging: To Kim, when she keeps harping on how Chuck and HHM refused to admit making a mistake, one that was really the result of Jimmy's forgery. It gets to Kim, who snaps abruptly at her before swiftly apologizing and explaining carefully that she feels no sense of victory over Chuck.
- Old Friend: She knows Kim from their law school days together.
District Attorney's Office
Deputy District Attorney Bill Oakley
A lawyer prosecuting petty criminals. Frequently goes up against Jimmy McGill.
- Ambiguously Bi: He asks if Jimmy has an assistant at Davis and Main and if she is hot. When Jimmy replies that his assistant is a man, Oakley does not appear to find this any less appealing.
- Big Eater: He's seldom seen without some kind of junk food in his hand. Jimmy occasionally takes advantage of this by bribing him with French fries and snack chips to get information or plea deals. According to Oakley, trans fats "are the best fats".
- Butt-Monkey: Nearly nothing ever goes his way when he's at the courthouse, though it can be his own fault at times. He doesn't do too much research on his clients it seems, nor does he have enough skill to get the verdict he wants, leading to Jimmy and Kim outclassing him when they clash. He's easily bribed with food thanks to his perpetual diet of junk food. Later, Saul subjects him to an "ambush interview" stunt as an impromptu commercial for his services. Right after having to hit the vending machine to get the last bag of pretzels out.
- Envy: He's massively jealous of Jimmy's position at Davis and Main, especially of the company car and the corporate housing.
- Friendly Enemy: Although he's a frequent antagonist to Jimmy in the courtroom, he's only doing his job and neither of them hold any sincere ill will toward one another. The only time Jimmy really seems infuriated by him is when he mixes up case files.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's kind of obnoxious, even coming to visit Jimmy as he's booked to "see how the mighty have fallen" and indulge in a little boasting. At the same time, he does genuinely think of Jimmy as a friend and helps him out even though he doesn't have to.
- Know When to Fold 'Em: After a few seasons of dealing with Jimmy he learned when he should cut a deal.
- Lawful Stupid: He has a reputation for being very difficult to bargain with, and when Jimmy tries at one point, Oakley simply keeps repeating the same phrase ("Petty with a prior") no matter what Jimmy does to try to reason with him. Hilariously, in that particular case Jimmy winds up showing that Oakley actually has his cases mixed up, and has been talking about the wrong case/defendant the whole time.
- Meaningful Name: Oakley comes off as stiff and rigid.
- Pet the Dog: He gets Jimmy's court date moved up so he doesn't have to spend longer in jail than is strictly necessary. He also tries to make Jimmy feel better, even though he was kind of a jerk at first.
- Put on a Bus: After Jimmy stops doing public defender work, Oakley leaves the cast, until...
- The Bus Came Back: He returns in Season 2 when Jimmy bumps into him in the courthouse restroom.
- Selective Obliviousness: He's epically blind to what he doesn't want or expect to see. From the wrong case files to not seeing Jimmy's blatant discomfort when he just keeps banging on about the car and house like a stuck record.
- Shadow Archetype: He could be seen as one to Season 1 Jimmy McGill, if Jimmy didn't have all the family issues and conman past; a balding down-on-his-luck lawyer doing public defense-related work at the courthouse with an ill-fitting suit and an abrasive personality.
- Throw the Dog a Bone: He's finally seen winning a case, against post-Saul Jimmy, thanks to the latter having lost his skill after particularly traumatic events. Moreover, it was supposedly a case that Jimmy was set to win easily, and he still ended up giving it to Bill.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Gives off this vibe with Jimmy in Season 3, as he's a bit prickly towards him, yet there's still a sense of fondness between them.
Prosecutor Robert Alley
The attorney who prosecutes Jimmy before the bar after Jimmy confesses to breaking into Chuck's house.
- Don't Answer That: He tries to stop Chuck from answering any private questions Jimmy asks, but Chuck is too arrogant to take his advice. Plus, Jimmy made sure to get a lot of leeway thanks to the tape.
- Innocently Insensitive: He compares (exaggeratedly) Chuck's condition to schizophrenia, which is blatantly albeit inadvertently insulting to Chuck, who's already very sensitive about his condition.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: He does a pretty good job prosecuting the case, but when he compares Chuck's condition to that of schizophrenia, Chuck has a breakdown on the stand which destroys his credibility, and that of Alley's entire case as well. Jimmy got the ball rolling, but Alley really could have handled it better.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: He unwittingly plays into Jimmy and Kim's strategy over the course of the hearing, and while they didn't really need any help after the battery ploy, the last argument he's able to get out is what finally pushes Chuck over into a Motive Rant.
- Punch-Clock Villain: He's only antagonistic by doing his job as the lawyer meant to prosecute Jimmy, and he has no personal stakes or sadistic investment in getting him disbarred.
- Saying Too Much: The crucial reason he fucks up when prosecuting the case: the way he carelessly labels Chuck's condition as comparable to schizophrenia, basically accusing his own client of being mentally ill in the process, helps push Chuck (who's very sensitive about precisely that) to have an emotional breakdown on the stand.
Assistant District Attorney Kyra Hay
The prosecutor dealing with Jimmy's charges relating to his breaking into Chuck's house.
- Hero Antagonist: She's against Jimmy, and she certainly treats him with disdain, but she's only doing her job to the best of her ability. She's also aware of Chuck's reputation, not his darker side, and only knows of Jimmy from what Chuck and Howard have told her.
- Holier Than Thou: She makes Jimmy physically face Chuck and personally apologize to him because she detects a 'lack of sincerity' on Jimmy's part in the legal statement, as if he were a small child.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Hay is described by her colleague Oakley as "tough but fair," and for the most part it's true but she does seem to be a little bias in favour of Chuck; granted, this is because she doesn't have all the facts in her possession.
Assistant District Attorney Gina Khalil
The prosecutor assigned to prosecute Lalo Salamanca, under the name of Jorge de Guzman, for the murder of Fred Whalen.
- Black Boss Lady: She is a black woman who leads up the Whalen case.
Assistant District Attorney Suzanne Ericsen
An assistant district attorney for Bernallio County.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Ericsen seeks to get a three year prison sentence for Huell for assaulting a plainclothes police officer, even though she's previously prosecuted five other people who committed the same crime (in much more violent ways than Huell, who just hit the guy over the head with a grocery bag) and sought lesser sentences in those earlier cases. When Kim calls her on her logic, Ericsen reasons that Huell's sentence should be longer because he was previously arrested for pickpocketing, even though he had no violent history like the other defendants.
- Jerkass: Her attitude in the Huell case. She blindly takes the word of the cop (who as Jimmy mentioned had been put on desk duty twice for alcoholism) over Huell, tries to give Huell an excessive sentence simply because he was a repeat offender (even though Huell's history is less violent than other defendants she's prosecuted for worse variants of Huell's offense, and sought lesser sentences for), and dismisses Jimmy as a "scumbag disbarred lawyer" (never mind Jimmy was only suspended, not disbarred).
- Know When to Fold 'Em: Initially dedicated to seeing Huell punished for the charges and doubles down after Jimmy and Kim get the first part of their con going, but when the potential media circus is coupled with the imagery of Huell apparently having a heroic streak, she gives up on prosecuting him and finally negotiates with Kim.
- The Mark: Becomes one for Jimmy and Kim in "Coushatta", where she's gradually tricked into believing she's wrong for trying to prosecute Huell, and drops the case under the belief that he's something of a hometown hero and will cause a media circus if taken to court.
- Saved by Canon: She appears in El Camino with SAC Ramey at the press conference held the morning after Felina, showing she'll survive the remainder of Better Call Saul.
- Spotting the Thread: When Mike decides to tell her that Tuco's gun was actually his, she quickly figures out he's been threatened.