Legal Korean dramas have been trendy in recent years, as each release provides an intense and thought-provoking viewing experience for fans across the globe.
From high-stakes murder trials to corporate disputes, these dramas keep the audience on the edge of their seats and educate them about the inner workings of the South-Korean justice system.
While the usual suspects like Vincenzo and Extraordinary Attorney Woo tend to dominate every conversation, there are many other legal Kdramas that deserve just as many accolades.
These underrated gems often slip under the radar, but they are equally worth a watch for those who love crime and legal thrillers.
In this article, I will list some of the best underrated legal Kdramas worth watching.
Whether you’re a fan of the genre or just looking for something new to watch, you won’t be disappointed with these hidden gems.
So, grab some snacks, get comfortable, and start watching.
Here are the most underrated legal Korean dramas to watch:
1. Remember: War of the Son (2015)
Starring: Yoo Seung Ho as Seo Jin Woo, Park Sung Woong as Park Dong Ho, and Park Min Young as Lee In Ah.
Plot: Seo Jin Woo has an excellent memory, but his father has Alzheimer’s.
He then becomes a lawyer when his father is wrongfully accused and convicted in a murder case.
With Lee In Ah, Seo Jin Woo navigates the path to justice while dealing with betrayals and corruption.
This drama literally broke my heart in two, so if you have a bleeding heart like mine, get your tissue ready.
This is one of the more dramatic and moving legal Kdramas on this list, but it’s just as thrilling, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy watching it.
2. Insider (2022)
Starring: Kang Ha Neul as Kim Yo Han, Lee Yoo Young as Oh Soo Yeon, and Heo Sung Tae as Yoon Byung Wook.
Plot: Kim Yo Han is a judicial trainee who goes undercover to investigate a case. He becomes a prisoner in Seongju Prison and is housed with some dangerous inmates.
Stuck in the cell, returning to his everyday life seems like a distant dream, and his only hope is Oh Soo Yeon, a young entrepreneur who visits him in prison and promises to help in exchange for getting her own goal realized. The story evolves as he struggles to survive this crisis.
3. Doctor Lawyer (2022)
Starring: So Ji Sub as Han Yi Han, Shin Sung Rok as Jayden Lee, and Im Soo Hyang as Geum Seok Yeong.
Plot: Han Yi Han, a doctor turned lawyer, fights for victims of medical negligence. Years ago, his medical license was revoked after the death of his patient.
He is joined by prosecutor Geum Seok Yeong who lost his younger brother and girlfriend due to the surgery performed by Han Yi Han.
Together, they fight against the ones who commit medical malpractices while uncovering the conspiracy behind the surgery done by Han Yi Han.
If you want a perfect blend of the attendant tension of a legal thriller and the high notes of a medical Kdrama, then you should definitely consider checking this drama out.
4. Lawless Lawyer (2018)
Starring: Lee Joon Gi as Bong Sang Pil, Seo Yea Ji as Ha Jae Yi, and Lee Hye Young as Cha Moon Sook.
Plot: Gangster turned lawyer Bong Sang Pil teams up with Ha Jae Yi, a now-suspended lawyer, establishing the Lawless Law Firm.
Together, they fight against the corrupt but powerful Judge Cha Moon Sook, the one responsible for the death of Sang Pil’s mother.
Lawless Lawyer is the story of their pursuit of justice in an exceedingly corrupt legal system.
5. Class of Lies (2019)
Starring: Yoon Kyun Sang as Gi Moo Hyeok / Gi Kang Jae, Keum Sae Rok as Ha So Hyeon, and Choi Yu Hwa as Cha Hyeon Jeong.
Plot: In Class of Lies, a suspended lawyer goes undercover as a temporary high school teacher to solve the murder case of a student in a bid to rebuild his career.
While investigating, he meets the physical education teacher, Ha So Hyeon, and the duo join hands to reveal the truth of the mysterious murder case and unveil the group of privileged students bullying and controlling other students and teachers.
6. Suspicious Partner (2017)
Starring: Ji Chang Wook as Noh Ji Wook, Nam Ji Hyun as Eun Bong Hee, and Choi Tae Joon as Ji Eun Hyuk.
Plot: Prosecutor Noh Ji Wook and intern Eun Bong Hee always seem to find each other during the most embarrassing situations.
However, Eun Bong Hee’s feelings develop into something deeper when Noh Ji Wook sacrifices his career as a prosecutor to save her from being falsely convicted for the murder of her ex-boyfriend.
Both meet again as lawyers and fall in love while trying to track down a serial killer.
7. Diary of a Prosecutor (2019)
Starring: Lee Sun Kyun as Lee Sun Woong, Jung Ryeo Won as Cha Myung Joo, and Lee Sung Jae as Jo Min Ho.
Plot: As the name suggests, the drama depicts the daily routine of prosecutors working overnight (and overtime) to solve various cases.
The series follows the life of two prosecutors, Lee Sun Woong and Cha Myung Joo.
While one is deeply passionate and righteous, the other is highly ambitious but carefree when it comes to working.
Besides the duo, this drama cum diary shares the struggles of other prosecutors, including the chief of the team, Jo Min Ho, the working mother, Oh Yoon Jin, and the youngest, Kim Jung Woo, who has no real passion for prosecution.
This underrated legal Kdrama won’t make many lists because of the decided lack of heart-stopping action, but it’s excellent.
If you want a peek into the actual lives of prosecutors, you can’t go wrong with this drama. While the routine might seem dreary, this gem will stick with you long after watching.
8. Misty (2018)
Starring: Kim Nam Joo as Go Hye Ran, Ji Jin Hee as Kang Tae Wook, and Jeon Hye Jin as Seo Eun Joo.
Plot: Go Hye Ran, an ambitious announcer, is struggling with a failed marriage. One day, she meets her ex and becomes trapped in a murder case.
Kang Tae Wook, her husband, who happens to be a public defender, comes to her rescue.
Their almost broken marriage starts to get a second chance as Kang Tae Wook tries to defend Go Hye Ran.
Misty is yet another underrated legal Korean drama with a compelling storyline, stellar characters, and beautiful shots, Misty is one legal Kdrama you absolutely do not want to miss.
9. The Fiery Priest (2019)
Starring: Kim Nam Gil as Kim Hae Il / Michael Kim, Kim Sung Kyun as Goo Dae Young, and Lee Hanee as Park Kyung Sun.
Plot: An elderly priest gets murdered in mysterious circumstances, and the brash Priest Kim Hae Il, timid and talkative detective Goo Dae Young, and the beautiful and intelligent prosecutor Park Kyung Sun come together to solve the mystery.
The three embark on a journey full of hilarious incidents as they face the corrupt authorities and gangsters in their pursuit of catching the culprits of the murder.
If you like a legal Kdrama that doesn’t take itself too seriously (Law School, I’m looking at you!), then the Fiery Priest should definitely be on your list.
With comedic scenes that might have you gasping for air and characters that effortlessly pull their weight, I’m sure any viewer would enjoy this drama.
10. One The Woman (2021)
Starring: Honey Lee as Jo Yeon Joo / Kang Mi Na, Lee Sang Yoon as Han Seung Wook / Alex Chang, Jin Seo Yeon as Han Seong Hye, and Lee Won Geun as Ahn Yoo Jun.
Plot: After waking up from an accident-induced coma, Jo Yeon Joo loses her memory and is mistaken for her rich look-alike, Kang Mi Na.
The real Mi Na, an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy family, is docile, subservient, and a doormat who is used to being mistreated by her family.
The strong-headed Jo Yeon Joo (now living as Kang Mi Na) completely turns her in-laws’ household on its head as she refuses to be bullied and stands up for herself on different occasions.
The story takes a more exciting turn when Han Seung-wook meets Yeon Joo, his first love living now as Kang Mi Na.
11. Pride and Prejudice (2014)
Starring: Choi Jin Hyuk as Goo Dong Chi, Baek Jin Hee as Han Yeol Moo, and Choi Min Soo as Moon Hee Man.
Plot: Gu Dong Chi is an experienced and enigmatic prosecutor with a brilliant mind that helped him pass the bar exam immediately after high school.
Soon, the ace prosecutor finds himself working with a group of “loser prosecutors,” including rookie prosecutor Han Yeol Moo and veteran prosecutor Moon Hee Man.
Together, they fight legal battles against crime and corruption to bring justice to poor and helpless people.
This ‘oldie but goldie’ Kdrama was a very satisfying watch, and I loved how thoroughly uncomplicated the storyline was.
12. Welcome 2 Life (2019)
Starring: Jung Ji Hoon as Lee Jae Sang, Lim Ji Yeon as Ra Si On, and Kwak Si Yang as Goo Dong Tae.
Plot: Lee Jae Sang is a skilled but corrupt lawyer who helps his clients take advantage of the law for personal gains.
One day, an unexpected incident transports him to a parallel reality where, as expected, things are entirely different from the world he lives in.
The story takes an unexpected turn when Lee Jae Sang tries to turn over a new leaf in this parallel world as a righteous prosecutor with high integrity and faces many interesting and complicated challenges from new and old foes.
13. Switch: Change the World (2018)
Starring: Jang Keun Suk as Sa Do Chan / Baek Joon Soo, Han Ye Ri as Oh Ha Ra, and Jung Woong In as Geum Tae Woong
Plot: Sometimes, it takes poison to treat poison and a con man to catch a con man.
This is proven especially true in Switch, wherein Sa Do Chan, a con man and known troublemaker, assumes the role of his prosecutor look-alike to avoid trouble.
With his intellect and unique skill of finding his way around things, he helps prosecutor Oh Ha Ra catch the offenders who are experts in working their way around the law.
14. Item (2019)
Starring: Ju Ji Hoon as Kang Gon / Kim Sung Kyu, Jin Se Yeon as Shin So Young, and Kim Kang Woo as Jo Se Hwang.
Plot: In an attempt to save his niece, prosecutor Kang Gon discovers some mysterious items with supernatural powers.
Now he must find the stories behind these items and the conspiracy associated with them. In his quest, he gets help from Shin So Young, a woman with a criminal profile.
15. The Good Wife (2016)
Starring: Jeon Do Yeon as Kim Hye Kyung, Yoo Ji Tae as Lee Tae Joon, and Yoon Kye Sang as Seo Joong Won.
Plot: After getting married 13 years ago, Kim Hye Kyung took an extended break from litigation.
However, her life is turned upside down when her husband, a successful prosecutor, is accused of corruption.
To save her husband, Kim Hye Kyung makes a comeback as a lawyer and embarks on the journey of redefining her own identity in the process.
The Good Wife is one of the underrated legal Kdramas which explore much more than the judicial process.
Like many other dramas on this list, The Good Wife explores family, self, and society.
16. Punch (2014)
Starring: Kim Rae Won as Park Jung Hwan, Kim Ah Joong as Shin Ha Kyung, and Cho Jae Hyun as Lee Tae Joon.
Plot: Park Jung Hwan is the chief prosecutor of the anti-corruption investigation team in the Supreme Prosecutors’ Office.
However, he does not mind compromising the judicial process in his race to the top.
His life takes an unexpected turn when he is diagnosed with a brain tumor.
With only six months to live, Jung Hwan is thrown headfirst into an existential crisis, and he bemoans the choices he made in the past.
He decides to make things right, and the only person that can help in this quest is his ex-wife, Shin Ha Kyung, who is a very righteous prosecutor.
What follows is a fast-paced and entirely addicting ride that all viewers will enjoy.
17. Lovers of Haeundae (2012)
Starring: Kim Kang Woo as Lee Tae Sung / Nam Hae, Jo Yeo Jeong as Go So Ra, and Nam Gyu Ri as Yun Se Na
Plot: After getting married to Yun Se Na, prosecutor Lee Tae Sung goes undercover to catch a gangster of Haeundae.
However, he loses all his memories after being attacked and thrown into the sea.
When the family of an underworld boss takes him in, he meets Go So Ra. The two fall in love and get married, only to discover later about Tae Sung’s first marriage.
Now he has the decision to make whether he chooses to love or duty.
If you think this synopsis is crazy, wait until you watch this drama. It stretches the imagination quite a bit, but the sheer novelty of the execution of the amnesia trope had me pressing ‘play’ quicker than flash.
You best believe this was a rewarding experience. So, if you want an underrated Kdrama unique in every way, consider checking out Lovers of Haeundae.
18. Reset (2014)
Starring: Chun Jung Myung as Cha Woo Jin, Kim So Hyun as Jo Eun Bi / Choi Seung Hee, and Park Won Sang as Chief Investigator Go
Plot: Cha Woo Jin became a prosecutor after the murder of his first love, Choi Seung Hee.
Fifteen years later, he meets Jo Eun Bi, who looks the same as Seung Hee, and he finally gets a lead to catch the killer of Seung He.
He restarts his investigation, and the circumstances show that Jo Eun Bi is the next target for the killer.
The story develops as prosecutor Woo-jin tries to catch the killer while protecting Jo Eun Bi. Fast-paced and moving, Reset is a killer Kdrama that anyone would love.
19. The Man In The Mask (2015)
Starring: Joo Sang Wook as Ha Dae Chul, Kim Sun A as Yoo Min Hee, and Um Ki Joon as Kang Hyun Woong.
Plot: Prosecutor during the day and masked vigilante by night, Ha Dae Chul leads two very different lives.
His ultimate mission is to bring justice when the law cannot do so.
He meets detective Yoo Min Hee, who solves violent crime cases, and an intricately woven plot unfolds as the duo race against time to discover the identity of the man behind the mask and fight for justice.
20. Wonderful Days (2014)
Starring: Lee Seo Jin as Kang Dong Suk, Kim Hee Sun as Cha Hae Won, and Ok Taecyeon as Kang Dong Hee.
Plot: Kang Dong Suk is a successful prosecutor who has left behind small-town life. Many years after his departure, he is transfered back to his hometown.
The story unfolds as he realizes the value of true love and relationships after reconnecting with his estranged family members and his first love, Cha Hae Won.
The nature of the subverted trope and the entire atmosphere of the drama is enough to seize the interest of any watcher, and I feel you’ll enjoy this one.
21. Tower Of Babel (2019)
Starring: Park Si Hoo as Cha Woo Hyuk, Jang Hee Jin as Han Jeong Won, and Kim Ji Hoon as Tae Min Ho.
Plot: Cha Woo Hyuk is a prosecutor who is determined to avenge the death of his parents by destroying the conglomerate responsible for their bankruptcy.
He meets Han Jeong Won, an actress, and daughter-in-law of the Geosan group, and falls in love with her.
Destiny brings them face to face again when he is assigned to investigate her as a suspect in the murder of her husband, Tae Min Ho.
If you’ve read this summary, that’s enough to convince you that in this drama, the stakes are high, and the pace is super-fast.
This underrated legal procedural drama is well worth the time spent watching.
22. The Secret House (2022)
Starring: Seo Ha Joon as Woo Ji Hwan, Lee Young Eun as Baek Joo Hong, and Kim Jung Heon as Nam Tae Hyung.
Plot: Woo Ji Hwan is a lawyer with secrets he must hide from the world.
He secretly searches for traces of his missing mother that can help him to find her.
The one who helps him in his pursuit is his first love and surgeon, Baek Joo Hong.
What follows is a painfully nostalgic and moving story of acceptance, love, and forgiveness.
23. The Running Mates: Human Rights (2019)
Starring: Lee Yo Won as Han Yoon Seo, Choi Gwi Hwa as Bae Hong Tae, and Jang Hyun Sung as Kim Hyun Seok.
Plot: Han Yoon Seo is an investigator of cases involving the protection of human rights.
Due to her tendency to be always impartial and make judgments based on the facts only, she is often perceived as aloof and insensitive.
Her life becomes even more challenging when the righteous and impulsive Bae Hong Tae joins the team as an investigator.
The differences in their approaches to work lead to frequent conflicts between them in their shared workplace.
But, they soon start to develop an understanding and work together for their shared vision of helping people.
As already established, I am a huge crybaby, and this drama had me in my feels a couple of times.
While it’s generally overlooked when the big leagues are called, this underrated legal Kdrama takes the cake on all accounts.
24. Justice Team (2016)
Starring: Han Sang Jin as Kang Min Hyeok, Shin So Yool as Lee Bo Bae, and Sung Ji Ru as Jang Min Gook
Plot: This legal drama revolves around the prosecutors of Goyang’s Investigative Task Force, who work to investigate crimes against women and children.
The courageous team includes prosecutor Kang Min Hyeok, Lee Bo Bae, and Jang Min Gook.
The trio uncovers the truth behind multiple cases of sexual assaults and crimes against children.
25. Woman with a suitcase (2016)
Starring: Choi Ji Woo as Cha Geum Joo, Joo Jin Mo as Ham Bok Geo, and Jeon Hye Bin as Park Hye Joo.
Plot: Ha Geum Joo’s career is setback when she is convicted of violating the Attorneys-at-Law Act and eventually incarcerated.
Upon completion of her sentence, she discovers the near impossibility of resurrecting her career.
This drama details Cha Geum Joo’s struggles for success and how she goes about fulfilling her dream of becoming a remarkable lawyer despite being an ex-convict.
To sum up, the legal Kdramas mentioned in this article are hidden gems that deserve much more recognition.
So, if you’re looking for something new to watch, give these hidden gems a try. These underrated legal Kdramas are guaranteed to provide an unforgettable viewing experience.