Netflix’s ‘The Lincoln Lawyer’ follows the story of defense attorney Mickey Haller who is known for getting his clients out of the trickiest of situations. Based on the books written by Michael Connelly, the series showcases the personal and professional challenges faced by Haller. Every season, he tackles one high-profile case and several low-stakes cases he handles on the go. Apart from his quick thinking and finding a way out of the tightest of spots, Haller is also known for the cars that he rides. He is known by the moniker of “the Lincoln Lawyer.” If you want to know how he earned that nickname and what it means for his character, we’ve got you covered. SPOILERS AHEAD
What is the Meaning of The Lincoln Lawyer?
At the beginning of the Netflix series, Mickey Haller inherits the practice of Jerry Vincent, a fellow defense attorney murdered in a parking lot. This comes with Vincent’s office, where Haller and his team set camp. By the second season, they have given the place their touch, with all the hefty renovations and whatnot. However, Mickey still spends more time in his car than at the office. This is how it used to be for him before Vincent left everything to him.
The backstory of Mickey Haller reveals that at the beginning of his career, he didn’t own an office. He worked out of his car, the Lincoln, driving around town, poring over the case files, and finding the legalities that could set his clients free. Haller stuck to this practice, even when he got Vincent’s office. He still keeps the relevant case files inside his car and spends a lot of time being driven around by his ex-client, Izzy Letts.
Haller explains why he finds it better to work from the car than the office. For him, it’s quite a practical choice. Lawyers usually work on multiple cases at a time, which means they have to travel to and from court to office to clients to other places. Having all the files handy allows Haller to go through them while traveling. With the high-stakes cases he usually handles, he must make every second count. He cannot afford to lose hours of the day just traveling from one place to another.
Apart from the ability to handle cases on the go, the car’s motion provides Haller with the mental space he needs to be in while tackling a case. He tells Izzy that it is something about the forward motion that gets him thinking clearly. It brings him the clarity he needs while trying to find breakthroughs in all the complicated cases he handles. The reason why he chooses to drive only Lincolns could be attributed to personal taste. For writer Michael Connelly, however, it was simply a matter of alliteration. “The Lincoln Lawyer” sounded better than any other brand.
Talking about the inspiration behind the character of Mickey Haller, Connelly revealed that he was inspired by a real lawyer who used to work out of his Toyota. The conversation between them happened in 2001 during a Dodgers game. “I knew that there were literally dozens of courthouses in LA County. Turns out there are 40. I knew that lawyers would situate their offices in proximity to two or three courthouses, and that would be the region where they would work. So I asked him where his office was, and he told me it was his car. He was very quick to add that it wasn’t because he was a failure or a bad lawyer. It’s actually the best way to do what he does,” the author said.
Dan Daly, who served as one of the inspirations for Haller’s character, revealed why it’s a logical choice to work out of a car. “There is nothing at all absurd about working out of the back of a car. I took cases in Fort Myers years ago. Although I drove myself, I listened to audio tapes of statements and recorded events, such as drug deals. I also made phone calls that I needed to make. There was very little time that wasn’t billed while I was driving,” Daly said. Considering all this, it’s understandable why a lawyer like Haller, who wants to make the best of his time, would drive around in a car while handling multiple cases at a time.