‘Law & Order’ Fans Debate Realism of Jack McCoy’s ‘Fancy’ NYC Lifestyle

by Tia Bailey

Law & Order” fans have taken to Reddit the past few weeks to debate different aspects of the show, as well as the other shows in the franchise. While most of the discussions have been on the r/SVU subreddit, one finally hit the r/LawAndOrder subreddit.

Yesterday, a Reddit user posted: “How can ADA Jack McCoy afford to dine out at fancy NYC restaurants in the show? It looks like NYC ADA’s only earn $60-80k. To be able to live in the city (or near it) and be able to dine out. Unless his hours are billable. Does not seem like even NYC ADA’s make very much for the job they do.”

The show demonstrates McCoy living fairly lavishly, especially for being in New York City, a notoriously pricey city to live in.

This sparked a debate about the characters pay, experience, and lifestyle.

The top comment at the moment reads: “Manhattan ADA’s starting salary is $72,000. It’s higher if they had previous experience / practiced elsewhere prior.” Another fan responded, pointing out that in the episode “Second Opinion” McCoy had been there for 24 years, so it was likely he had experience elsewhere before.

Another fan makes an argument under the same comment that he would earn much more than what they had said: “McCoy was a senior ADA for almost the entire run of the show, so he would easily earned twice the numbers that you have. In addition, he didn’t really go to fancy restaurants that often, at least not by himself.”

Law & Order” Fans Discuss Jack McCoys Expensive Lifestyle on Show

Other fans in the comments speculated that his ex wife, a defense lawyer, probably had to pay the character alimony. Others claimed the opposite, saying that he would be the one paying alimony, as well as child support.

The topic is still up for debate, and it seems as though many are still at odds.

These kinds of discussions are not uncommon, especially with shows set in cities that have high costs of living. This is a huge debate among those who have seen the show “Friends.” The characters all live in nicer apartments (especially Monica Geller and Rachel Green for a large portion of the series) despite the pair often struggling with money, and at times even being unemployed. Their apartments were also in the middle of the city, and had several bedrooms, which fans find unrealistic.

Another show that has sparked similar discussions is NBC’s “This Is Us.” One of the main characters, Kate Pearson, had an unclear profession for part of the series, and yet would always fly across the country and back at the drop of a hat to see her family.

While fans have questions about these situations, nobody is really sure what the answer is.

The new season of “Law & Order” will premiere on September 22 on NBC.