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Only Law Firm in Town

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When you have only one lawyer in town, he's usually barely making a living and is just hanging on. Once you have two law firms in town, we discover that both lawyers are now quite prosperous members of the community.
— Typical lawyer joke

The law firm at the center of the show. You'd think occasionally, the plaintiff in one of these cases would pick a different firm. Instead it seems like there's only one law firm they can possibly go to. Sometimes justified by the setting—a rural district in the early 20th century, for example—but more often not.


A sister trope to Only Shop in Town.


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    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, pretty much every time anyone in New York needs a criminal lawyer for anything, they'll call in Nelson and Murdock, unless the writer feels like being different, in which case they may go for Jennifer Walters.
  • One Lucky Luke story has a stablehand who moonlights as the town's lawyer. The judge is the stable owner.
    "Came out west to become a lawyer, but a man's got to eat..."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Picket Fences had all manner of issues show up in cases pleaded by one particular attorney ("Douglas Wambaugh! Reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee!") to one particular, exasperated judge.
  • Boston Legal to the point where they occasionally represented both sides in a case. For the record, this is major artistic license: After "Touch Your Client's Money and You're Done," "You Can't Represent Opposite Sides of the Same Case" is probably the biggest single rule in legal ethics.
  • Kingdom: Justified in that Market Shipborough is a rather small town; there's probably another law firm in town, but just the one. Or maybe two. But no more.
  • JAG: Often it makes you wonder why Harm, Mac et al. at JAG Headquarters gets to act as trial and defense counsel from an wide array of cases from all around the Navy and the Marines and why they're not handled by the command staff judge advocates out in the field.
    • In the pilot episode Admiral Brovo makes a suggestion that there wouldn't have been a perceived need to send HQ people out to the USS Seahawk if the missing RIO had been a male for political purposes.
    • It's suggested many times that they're sent out in the field to be impartial whenever there's a concern that the local judge advocates might not be, or that there are none present on the location at all.
  • Downplayed some in Hill Street Blues, but Joyce Davenport is the only Public Defender at Hill Street Station who gets to be more than a one-shot character. Presumably this is down to the Law of Conservation of Detail, as she's already a main character thanks to being Captain Furillo's lover.


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