The BEST Episodes of The Practice

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: May 22, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

The Practice focused on the law firm of Robert Donnell and Associates (later becoming Donnell, Young, Dole, & Frutt, and ultimately Young, Frutt, & Berluti). Plots typically featured the firm's involvement in various high-profile criminal and civil cases that often mirror current events. Conflict between legal ethics and personal morality was a recurring theme. Some episodes contained light comedy. Kelley claimed that he conceived the show as something of a rebuttal to L.A. Law (for which he wrote) and its romanticized treatment of the American legal system and legal proceedings.

Small Sacrifices

#1 - Small Sacrifices

Season 7 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 17, 2002

An accused molester's defense rattles Bobby, who's also unnerved by the reproach of a venerable priest; a case involving animal sacrifices embroils Ellenor.

star 9.43
51 votes
The Verdict

#2 - The Verdict

Season 6 - Episode 23 - Aired May 19, 2002

Lindsay stands trial for shooting Lawrence O'Malley, who became obsessed with her after her firm defended him in his murder trial.

star 9.38
55 votes
Directors: Dennis Smith
Writers: David E. Kelley
Capitol Crimes

#3 - Capitol Crimes

Season 7 - Episode 18 - Aired Mar 31, 2003

The death penalty comes under scrutiny in a controversial hearing centering on a troubled teen and admitted killer, whose case parallels Bobby's reinvolvement with a former lover.

star 9.37
51 votes
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lukas Reiter
Honor Code

#4 - Honor Code

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 18, 2001

Bobby, Eugene and Jimmy work with an insurance company to settle the claim of a 10-year-old accident victim. But when the case presents a dilemma of moral and ethical proportions, the tension that's been brewing between Jimmy and Eugene finally boils over.

star 9.36
59 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lukas Reiter
The Thin Line

#5 - The Thin Line

Season 5 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 4, 2001

Tensions at the firm are at an all-time high when Bobby is tried for the murder of William Hinks. Bobby is acquitted, though there is little to celebrate when a mysterious cassette recorder is sent to the office. Lucy and Rebecca hear Hinks' voice on the recorder, just before it triggers an explosion.

star 9.32
60 votes
Directors: Dennis Smith
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lynne E. Litt
Suffer The Little Children

#6 - Suffer The Little Children

Season 6 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 25, 2001

After promising the mother of a murdered teen that he'll find the drive-by shooter responsible, A.D.A. Lowe adopts a ""whatever it takes"" attitude towards the prosecution of the young gang member he thinks did it — who is defended by Ellenor. Meanwhile, Lindsay is moved to help a mentally retarded man find the daughter he lost touch with years ago as a result of being wrongfully incarcerated for over a decade.

star 9.32
60 votes
Directors: Dennis Smith
Writers: James Solomon, Lynne E. Litt
Life Sentence

#7 - Life Sentence

Season 4 - Episode 22 - Aired May 21, 2000

Ellenor defends a deaf woman who shot and killed the man who allegedly murdered her young daughter. The client's crime is captured on video in front of dozens of witnesses, leaving no doubt as to who committed the act. The only to way to exonerate the client is to manipulate the jury's heartstrings. Meanwhile Lindsay learns that Bobby hates weddings and decides to spring a surprise elopement.

star 9.29
66 votes
Directors: Michael Zinberg
Writers: David E. Kelley
Liberty Bells (2)

#8 - Liberty Bells (2)

Season 4 - Episode 20 - Aired May 7, 2000

Ellenor continues the Donovan case, following up on the various leads to exonerate her client.

star 9.27
95 votes
Directors: Michael Schultz
Writers: Alfonso H. Moreno, David E. Kelley
Bad to Worse

#9 - Bad to Worse

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Dec 1, 2002

Ellenor and Eugene defend a fiery yet frightened client named Cassie Ray, a murder suspect with a shadowy past. Moreover, Cassie's alibi witness has significant skeletons in her own closet. In a separate case, Lindsay reluctantly defends an airline that refuses to carry passengers of Arab descent.

star 9.27
52 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: David E. Kelley
An Early Frost

#10 - An Early Frost

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 7, 2001

After Scott Wallace kills his friend, Jimmy becomes a witness for the prosecution. Bobby, meanwhile, is still defending Wallace. Lindsay is convinced that serial killer William Hinks has claimed another victim, and fears for her own life. To protect her, Bobby takes matters into his own hands

star 9.25
65 votes
Writers: David E. Kelley
Police State

#11 - Police State

Season 8 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 11, 2004

When the police torture a man they believe shot one of their own, Eugene, barely able to contain his emotion, takes the lead in seeking justice.

star 9.23
61 votes
Directors: Andy Wolk
Writers: David E. Kelley
Pro Se

#12 - Pro Se

Season 6 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 10, 2002

Ellenor is ordered to appear as co-counsel for murderer Ray McMurphy, who insists on defending himself in his latest trial. The trial turns ugly for everyone involved, as McMurphy will do whatever it takes to keep himself from going back to prison. Meanwhile, the firm try to support Bobby as he comes out of hospital and he tries to come to terms with being victimised.

star 9.23
57 votes
Directors: Michael Zinberg
Writers:
Evil-Doers

#13 - Evil-Doers

Season 6 - Episode 21 - Aired May 12, 2002

An accused rapist and his identical twin muddy a trial; the Hannibal Lecter copycat continues to terrify Lindsay during a commitment hearing.

star 9.20
54 votes
Directors: Andy Wolk
Writers: David E. Kelley
Poor Richard's Almanac

#14 - Poor Richard's Almanac

Season 5 - Episode 21 - Aired May 6, 2001

Richard Bay prosecutes a murderer being defended by Bobby. The killer warns Richard that if that jury returns with a guilty verdict, Richard should fear for his life.

star 9.20
61 votes
Directors: Jeannot Szwarc
Writers: Jill Goldsmith, Jill Shapiro, Lukas Reiter
Goodbye (2)

#15 - Goodbye (2)

Season 7 - Episode 22 - Aired May 5, 2003

Shocking twists in the trial of an accused wife-killer rattle Jimmy and Rebecca. Bobby's news to the firm devastates Eugene and has an impact on Lindsay.

star 9.18
55 votes
Directors: Michael Zinberg
Writers: David E. Kelley, Peter Blake (IV)
The Day After (1)

#16 - The Day After (1)

Season 5 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 11, 2001

Unconscious and in critical need of blood, Rebecca's fate is left to a higher power when her mother refuses to allow a transfusion because of the family's religious beliefs. Bobby is awestruck when Lindsay gives birth to their son a month early. courtesy of ABC.com

star 9.17
59 votes
Directors: Alex Graves
Writers: David E. Kelley
End Games

#17 - End Games

Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Feb 28, 1999

The office is thrown into turmoil when Ellenor's client Leonard Sowers rushes through the door with policemen giving chase and throws a bag of heroin onto her desk. Ellenor is arrested for possession of the heroin. A proximity search of her desk turns up a bloodied knife which turns out to be the weapon used to murder Susan Robins. The firm is dealt a surprise when Dickie Flood charges Ellenor with first degree murder. Lindsay & Ellenor bury the hatchet when Lindsay takes over her defense. The police, hoping to make another case for the murder, arrest George Vogelman for concealing a murder weapon and perjury. Meanwhile, Bobby defends Judge Kittleson when she's sued by a former clerk claiming sexual harassment. Jimmy is mesmerized by Judge Kittleson's frank sexual discussion.

star 9.16
62 votes
Directors: Keith Samples
Writers: David E. Kelley
Awakenings

#18 - Awakenings

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Feb 18, 2001

Ellenor's chosen ""sperm donor,"" Michael Hale (Ted McGinley), has second thoughts about the agreement over the rearing of her soon-to-be-born child. Meanwhile, Rebecca emerges from the I.C.U. and gets lost in the hospital. Additionally, Helen prepares to prosecute the rape of an eleven-year-old girl.

star 9.13
61 votes
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lukas Reiter
Payback

#19 - Payback

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 14, 2001

Bobby is arrested for conspiring to murder serial killer William Hinks. The entire firm, with Eugene at the helm, must now rally to defend him. Meanwhile, Rebecca discovers foul play in the wrongful death suit of a friend's husband.

star 9.12
65 votes
Directors: Andy Wolk
Writers: David E. Kelley, Marc Guggenheim
The Case of Harland Bassett

#20 - The Case of Harland Bassett

Season 5 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 29, 2001

Eugene and Jimmy agree to help the mistake-prone Harland Bassett (Ernie Sabella) in the case of a young girl who developed liver damage from an antibiotic. With the odds stacked against them, the trio take on a politically-tied, deep-pocketed drug manufacturer.

star 9.12
65 votes
Directors: Daniel Attias
Writers: Alfonso H. Moreno, Peter Blake (IV)
Gideon's Crossover (1)

#21 - Gideon's Crossover (1)

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 11, 2001

Helen prosecutes an accused rapist, while doing her best to keep the 11-year-old victim off the witness stand. Meanwhile, Ellenor has complications with her pregnancy and is treated by Dr. Ben Gideon, (Gideon's Crossing).

star 9.10
60 votes
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lynne E. Litt, Peter Blake (IV)
Concealing Evidence

#22 - Concealing Evidence

Season 8 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 23, 2003

Alan Shore uses questionable, if not illegal, tactics in representing his clients — Ted Grayson, a mentally unstable man accused of murder, and Karen Evanson, a woman who claims her husband's suicide was induced by a prescription drug.

star 9.10
61 votes
Directors: Bill D'Elia
Writers: David E. Kelley, Lukas Reiter
Pre-Trial Blues (2)

#23 - Pre-Trial Blues (2)

Season 8 - Episode 14 - Aired Feb 22, 2004

An ongoing, sensational murder case besets Shore with pre-trial anxieties centering on jury selection; a hostile judge; a priest's confession; and suspicions of malpractice that involve a manipulative witness for the prosecution.

star 9.05
59 votes
Writers: David E. Kelley
Loser's Keepers

#24 - Loser's Keepers

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 10, 1999

Tensions flare when the 'male nun' starts infiltrating the office. Ellenor buys a gun for protection. Rebecca suspects that a wealthy man has bought a client's guilty plea.

star 9.05
100 votes
Directors: Dennis Smith
Writers: Christopher Mack, David E. Kelley
Inter Arma Silent Leges

#25 - Inter Arma Silent Leges

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 9, 2001

Rebecca faces what could be the greatest challenge of her career when she attempts to uncover why her doctor's husband, an Arab, was detained by federal agents without any explanation. After encountering a series of impenetrable legal roadblocks, she learns a difficult truth: ""Inter arma silent leges … in war law is silent."" Meanwhile, Eugene's court-appointed client forces him to use the race card.

star 9.04
57 votes