Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer?

Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer

When it comes to the world of television lawyers, few characters have captured the imagination of viewers quite like Saul Goodman. The slick, fast-talking attorney with a penchant for bending the rules has become an iconic figure, thanks to his unforgettable roles in Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul. While there’s no denying that Saul, portrayed by the brilliant Bob Odenkirk, is a master of legal maneuvering, the question remains: is Saul Goodman a good lawyer?

While he possesses a wealth of knowledge, exceptional communication skills, and unparalleled problem-solving abilities, his ethical shortcomings and questionable commitment to client advocacy cast a shadow over his overall competence as a lawyer. Saul Goodman is best described as a skilled yet morally ambiguous attorney who straddles the line between legal prowess and criminal conduct. While he is undoubtedly successful in achieving results for his clients, the means by which he does so often come at a high cost. Whether one views him as a good lawyer may ultimately depend on the weight they place on ethics and integrity in the legal profession.

In this article, we will delve into the complex world of Saul Goodman to determine whether his legal acumen and success outweigh his ethically questionable practices. We will explore his knowledge of the law, communication skills, ethics, client advocacy, and problem-solving abilities.

Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer?

Saul Goodman, the charismatic, fast-talking attorney known for his flashy billboards and witty catchphrases, has become a popular figure in the world of TV lawyers, thanks to his unforgettable role in the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad and its spinoff Better Call Saul.

But, is Saul Goodman a good lawyer? To answer this, we must first define what it means to be a “good lawyer” and then analyze Saul’s actions, ethics, and competence throughout both series.

What Makes a Good Lawyer?

To determine whether Saul Goodman is a good lawyer, we must establish a criterion for what constitutes a good lawyer. Generally, the following qualities are attributed to good lawyers:

  • Knowledge of the law: A good lawyer must have a comprehensive understanding of the law, legal precedents, and the ability to apply them to their clients’ cases.
  • Communication skills: A good lawyer must be able to communicate effectively with their clients, opposing counsel, and the court.
  • Ethics: A good lawyer must adhere to the rules of professional conduct and maintain a high level of integrity in their work.
  • Client advocacy: A good lawyer must be committed to their clients and diligently work to protect their rights and interests.
  • Problem-solving skills: A good lawyer must be able to think critically, analyze complex situations, and devise effective strategies to resolve disputes.

Now that we have a framework for evaluating Saul’s skills as a lawyer, let’s take a closer look at his actions and qualities as depicted in both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul.

Saul Goodman’s Knowledge of the Law

Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer

There is no doubt that Saul has a thorough understanding of the law. Throughout both series, he demonstrates an impressive ability to navigate complex legal issues, cite relevant statutes, and apply them to his clients’ cases. From criminal law to civil litigation, he proves to be knowledgeable in various areas of legal practice.

Moreover, Saul’s knowledge extends beyond the letter of the law, as he is well-versed in the practical aspects of the legal system, such as how to navigate court procedures, work with law enforcement, and exploit legal loopholes. However, his creativity often goes hand-in-hand with a willingness to bend or break the rules.

Communication Skills

Saul’s communication skills are arguably one of his strongest assets. He is a charismatic speaker, using humor, wit, and persuasive rhetoric to win over clients, negotiate with opposing counsel, and charm courtroom judges and juries. His ability to “sell” his services and establish rapport with clients is a significant part of his success as a lawyer.

However, it’s important to note that these communication skills are often employed in a manipulative manner. Saul is adept at bending the truth and exploiting others’ vulnerabilities to achieve his desired outcomes.


When it comes to ethics, Saul Goodman is a far cry from the ideal lawyer. He consistently breaches professional boundaries, engages in illegal activities, and encourages his clients to do the same.

In both Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, he is shown to participate in money laundering, bribery, obstruction of justice, and a myriad of other unethical and unlawful practices.

Client Advocacy

Despite his ethical shortcomings, Saul does exhibit a genuine commitment to his clients. He frequently goes to great lengths to protect their interests, even when it means putting himself at risk. For example, in Breaking Bad, he helps Walter White and Jesse Pinkman evade law enforcement and launder their drug money, knowing that it could jeopardize his own safety and career. Similarly, in Better Call Saul, he represents various clients with unwavering dedication, often obtaining favorable outcomes for them despite the odds.

Of course, it’s essential to recognize that his advocacy is often driven by financial gain and self-interest. Saul is not above exploiting his clients or pushing them to engage in illegal activities to advance his own goals. This calls into question the sincerity and ethics of his commitment to client advocacy.

Problem-Solving Skills

Saul Goodman’s problem-solving abilities are perhaps his most notable attribute. Throughout both series, he demonstrates remarkable ingenuity in tackling complex legal issues and overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. He is a master strategist, often devising elaborate schemes to achieve his desired results.

However, as with his other skills, Saul’s problem-solving abilities are frequently employed unethically. He often devises underhanded tactics and engages in illegal activities to resolve his clients’ issues. While his methods may be effective in achieving short-term success, they often lead to long-term problems and further entanglements with the law.

Is Saul Goodman an Anti Hero?

Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer

An anti-hero is a central character in a story who lacks the conventional heroic attributes such as courage, morality, and idealism, often possessing characteristics typically associated with villains or morally ambiguous individuals. Saul Goodman can be considered an anti-hero in many ways.

He is a deeply flawed character who operates on the fringes of the legal profession. He is a morally ambiguous lawyer known for bending or breaking the law and employing ethically dubious tactics to achieve favorable outcomes for his clients. While he demonstrates exceptional legal acumen, problem-solving abilities, and dedication to his clients, his actions are often driven by self-interest and financial gain.

Despite his questionable ethics and lack of conventional heroic qualities, Saul is a charismatic and engaging character. His wit, humor, and charm captivate the audience, often leading viewers to root for him despite his shortcomings.

In this sense, Saul Goodman fits the mold of an anti-hero. He is a protagonist who lacks the traditional virtues of a hero but still captivates the audience with his charisma and the complexity of his character. His story serves as a compelling exploration of the moral gray areas that lie between right and wrong, making him an intriguing and unconventional anti-hero in the world of television.

Does Saul Actually Have a Degree?

Yes, Saul Goodman does have a law degree. In the prequel series Better Call Saul we learn that Saul, originally known as Jimmy McGill, earned his law degree from the University of American Samoa, a fictional institution. He completed his degree through a distance learning program while working in the mailroom at his brother Chuck’s law firm, Hamlin, Hamlin & McGill (HHM).

Though the University of American Samoa is portrayed as a less prestigious institution compared to more renowned law schools, it is important to note that Jimmy McGill passed the bar exam and is a legitimate attorney with a valid law degree.

What Is Saul Goodman’s Personality Type?

Saul Goodman’s traits and behaviors can be analyzed using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Based on his actions and characteristics in Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Saul Goodman could be classified as an ESTP (Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving).

Here’s a breakdown of the ESTP personality type in relation to Saul Goodman:

  • Extraverted: Saul is outgoing, charismatic, and highly skilled in social interactions. He has a natural ability to connect with people and is comfortable in the spotlight. His charm and wit make him an excellent communicator and negotiator.
  • Sensing: Saul tends to focus on the present and relies on practical, tangible information. He is observant and resourceful, quickly adapting to new situations and taking advantage of opportunities that arise. He is skilled at finding creative solutions to problems and identifying loopholes that can benefit his clients.
  • Thinking: Saul’s decision-making is primarily driven by logic and objective analysis, rather than emotions or personal values. He tends to prioritize his self-interest and financial gain over the feelings and well-being of others, which is evident in his morally ambiguous legal practices.
  • Perceiving: Saul is flexible, adaptable, and spontaneous, often improvising and making decisions on the fly. He is comfortable dealing with uncertainty and thrives in situations that require quick thinking and fast-paced action.