My latest spotlight focuses on The Storefront Lawyers, a CBS legal drama that premiered in September 1970 riding the wave of relevancy the networks were obsessed with. It was one of two new shows featuring young lawyers; the second, on ABC, was actually called The Young Lawyers, although technically the characters in that series weren’t lawyers yet. Robert Foxworth, Sheila Larkin and David Arkin starred as lawyers working for a plush Los Angeles Law firm who spent most of their time downtown at the Neighborhood Legal Services, a storefront law firm providing free legal services to the poor.
Reviews of the premiere were mixed and ratings weren’t good. In January 1971, CBS “cancelled” the series and replaced it with a new drama called Men At Law, which starred Robert Foxworth and Gerald O’Loughlin, with Sheila Larkin and David Arkin in supporting roles. The storefront angle was all but dropped.
I don’t believe the series, under either of its titles, was widely syndicated after it went off the air. I’m not sure it was ever syndicated. At least one episode is circulating among private collectors. The Paley Center for Media has two episode; UCLA’s Film & Television Archive also has one episode. The series was a co-production between National General Television Productions Inc. and Leonard Freeman Enterprises, with CBS in the mix as well, and CBS is the current copyright holder.
Read the full spotlight here.