Is Saul Goodman a Good Lawyer? A Comprehensive Analysis of His Intelligence and Ethics

Saul Goodman is one of the most iconic characters in the Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul universe.

He is a criminal lawyer who represents various shady clients, such as drug dealers, money launderers, and fraudsters.

But is he a good lawyer?

How does he measure up to the standards of the legal profession?

In this article, we will explore some of the aspects that make Saul Goodman a good or a bad lawyer, depending on your perspective.

An image of movie character Saul Goodman
The Truth About Saul Goodman: Is He Really a Good Lawyer? | PHOTO COURTESY: INSTAGRAM

Saul Goodman’s Legal Skills

Saul Goodman exhibits an exceptional understanding of the law, showcasing his extensive knowledge and resourcefulness.

He demonstrates an adept ability to:

  • Find loopholes, exploit technicalities, and employ creative strategies to assist his clients effectively.
  • Utilize a network of contacts and associates who provide invaluable information, services, or assistance.
  • Hired private investigators Mike Ehrmantraut and Francesca Liddy for evidence gathering, witness tracking, and intimidation.
  • Leveraged connections with hacker Huell Babineaux and veterinarian Caldera for illegal resources and criminal meetings.

However, Saul Goodman’s legal skills are tainted by his involvement in unethical and illegal practices. He often:

  • Engages in bribery, blackmail, forgery, perjury, and obstruction of justice to achieve his goals.
  • Violates rules of professional conduct, such as confidentiality, loyalty, competence, and diligence.
  • Frequently lies to clients, judges, prosecutors, and colleagues.
  • Takes advantage of clients’ vulnerability or ignorance to:
  • Charge exorbitant fees.
  • Manipulate them into compliance.

For example, he convinced Walter White and Jesse Pinkman to:

  • Launder their drug money through his shell companies.
  • Hire him as their legal counsel in exchange for a cut of their profits.

Saul Goodman’s Moral Compass

Saul Goodman’s moral compass is another aspect that generates controversy surrounding his lawyering.

He appears to have no qualms about:

  • Representing criminals or engaging in their illegal activities.
  • Ignoring the consequences of his actions on himself and others.
  • Putting himself and his clients at risk and exposing them to legal liabilities.
  • Disregarding the harm caused by his clients to society and innocent individuals.

However, it is worth noting that Saul Goodman is not entirely devoid of morality or conscience.

There are instances where he exhibits:

  • Remorse or guilt for his actions, occasionally attempting to dissuade his clients from engaging in overly risky or immoral endeavors.
  • Compassion or empathy towards certain individuals, such as his brother Chuck McGill, girlfriend Kim Wexler, or former clients Francesca Liddy and Brandon Mayhew.
  • A sense of humor and charisma that render him somewhat likable and relatable.
  • Utilization of witty slogans and commercials to attract customers and diffuse tense situations.

For instance, he played a role in aiding Walter White and Jesse Pinkman in the production and distribution of methamphetamine, resulting in numerous deaths, injuries, and addictions.

Furthermore, he assisted them in concealing their crimes and evading justice.

Is Saul Goodman a better lawyer than Matt Murdock?

Saul Goodman and Matt Murdock are both fictional lawyers who have appeared in TV shows and comic books.

Saul Goodman is the main character of Better Call Saul and a supporting character of Breaking Bad, while Matt Murdock is the alter ego of Daredevil, a Marvel superhero who fights crime in Hell’s Kitchen, New York.

Comparing Saul and Matt as lawyers is not easy, as they have very different styles, motivations, and goals.

However, some of the factors that could be considered are:

Legal skills

Both Saul and Matt are knowledgeable and resourceful when it comes to the law.

They know how to find loopholes, exploit technicalities, and use creative strategies to help their clients.

They also have contacts and associates who can provide them with useful information or assistance.

However, Saul often resorts to unethical and illegal methods to achieve his goals, such as bribery, blackmail, forgery, perjury, and obstruction of justice.

Matt, on the other hand, tries to uphold the law and justice as much as possible, even if it means putting himself or his clients in danger.

Moral compass

Both Saul and Matt have a flexible moral compass that allows them to represent criminals or participate in their illegal activities.

However, Saul shows little regard for the consequences of his actions on himself or others.

He often puts himself and his clients in danger or exposes them to legal liabilities.

He also disregards the harm that his clients cause to society or to innocent people.

Matt, on the other hand, has a strong sense of right and wrong that guides his actions as both a lawyer and a vigilante.

He tries to protect the innocent and punish the guilty, even if it means breaking the law or risking his life.

Success rate

Both Saul and Matt have had their share of successes and failures as lawyers.

Saul has managed to help many of his clients avoid jail time or get reduced sentences by using his cunning and creativity.

He has also made a lot of money by working with drug lords like Walter White and Gus Fring.

However, he has also lost many cases or clients due to his recklessness or dishonesty.

He has also faced legal troubles himself or been threatened by his enemies.

Matt has also helped many of his clients get justice or compensation by using his skills and determination.

He has also fought against powerful villains like Kingpin or Bullseye as Daredevil.

However, he has also lost many cases or clients due to his conflicts of interest or lack of evidence.

He has also suffered physical injuries or emotional trauma as a result of his double life.

Based on these factors, it could be argued that Matt Murdock is a better lawyer than Saul Goodman in terms of legal skills, moral compass, and success rate.

Is Saul Goodman Smarter Than Walt?

Saul Goodman and Walter White are both main characters of Breaking Bad and supporting characters of Better Call Saul.

Saul Goodman is a criminal lawyer who represents Walter White and his associates, while Walter White is a chemistry teacher who becomes a meth kingpin.

Comparing Saul and Walt as smart people is not easy, as they have different types of intelligence and expertise.

However, some of the factors that could be considered are:

Saul Goodman Academic intelligence

Both Saul and Walt have a high level of academic intelligence, as they have advanced degrees and knowledge in their respective fields.

Saul has a law degree from the University of American Samoa and is well-versed in various aspects of the law.

Walt has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Caltech and is an expert in organic synthesis and crystallography.

However, Walt has a more impressive academic background and achievements than Saul, as he was a co-founder of Gray Matter Technologies, a Nobel Prize-winning company, and a published author of several research papers.

Practical intelligence

Both Saul and Walt have a high level of practical intelligence, as they are able to apply their knowledge and skills to real-life situations.

Saul is able to use his legal expertise and experience to help his clients with various legal issues, such as bail, plea deals, money laundering, or witness protection.

He is also able to use his contacts and resources to obtain information or assistance from various sources, such as private investigators, hackers, or criminals.

Walt is able to use his chemistry expertise and experience to produce high-quality methamphetamine that earns him millions of dollars.

He is also able to use his contacts and resources to obtain equipment or assistance from various sources, such as suppliers, distributors, or hitmen.

Creative intelligence

Both Saul and Walt have a high level of creative intelligence, as they are able to come up with innovative and original solutions to problems or challenges.

Saul is able to devise clever and unconventional strategies to help his clients or himself, such as faking evidence, creating aliases, or staging accidents.

He is also able to improvise or adapt to changing circumstances or situations, such as negotiating with enemies, escaping from danger, or hiding his identity.

Walt is able to invent novel and ingenious methods to produce or distribute methamphetamine, such as using an RV, a magnet, or a train.

He is also able to improvise or adapt to changing circumstances or situations, such as dealing with rivals, avoiding detection, or eliminating threats.

Based on these factors, it could be argued that Saul and Walt are equally smart in terms of academic intelligence, practical intelligence, and creative intelligence.

However, they also have different weaknesses that limit their intelligence.

Saul tends to be greedy and selfish, which makes him compromise his ethics or morals.

Walt tends to be prideful and arrogant, which makes him underestimate his enemies or overestimate his abilities.

Who is the smartest lawyer in Better Call Saul?

This is a difficult question to answer, as different lawyers may have different strengths and weaknesses.

However, based on their intelligence level, legal acumen, and success rate, some of the candidates for the smartest lawyer in Better Call Saul are:

Kim Wexler

Kim is arguably the most competent and ethical lawyer in the show.

She has a sharp mind, a strong work ethic, and a keen sense of justice.

Kim has handled complex cases involving banking, real estate, criminal defense, and pro bono work.

She has also outsmarted Jimmy, Howard, Chuck, and Lalo on various occasions.

She is not afraid to stand up for herself or her clients, even if it means risking her career or reputation.

Chuck McGill

Chuck is Jimmy’s older brother and a founding partner of HHM.

He is a brilliant lawyer who specializes in corporate law and has a reputation for being meticulous and thorough.

Chuck has mentored many lawyers, including Kim and Howard, and has won many cases for his firm.

He also has a remarkable memory and can recite legal statutes and precedents from memory.

However, his intelligence is also his downfall, as he suffers from a mental illness that makes him hypersensitive to electricity.

He also has a deep resentment and jealousy towards Jimmy, which leads him to sabotage his brother’s career and life.

Howard Hamlin

Howard is another founding partner of HHM and Chuck’s friend and colleague.

He is a skilled lawyer who can handle various types of cases, such as civil litigation, class action lawsuits, and estate planning.

Howard is also a savvy businessman who can manage his firm’s finances and reputation.

He has a charismatic and professional demeanor that makes him respected and liked by his peers and clients.

However, he also has a tendency to be arrogant and condescending, especially towards Jimmy.

He also struggles to cope with Chuck’s death and his own guilt.


In conclusion, Saul Goodman is a good lawyer in some respects but a bad lawyer in others.

He has impressive legal skills and knowledge but he also uses them for unethical and illegal purposes.

He has a flexible moral compass that allows him to represent criminals but he also has some traces of remorse or compassion.

Ultimately, the answer to the question “Is Saul Goodman a good lawyer?” depends on your own values and opinions.

Some may admire him for his cunning and creativity while others may despise him for his corruption and dishonesty.