Set in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) Federal Court, aka “The Mother Court,” For the People follows brand new lawyers working for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.
Sandra, with the help of new investigator Ted, must defend a teenage gamer whose online argument leads to a police raid that ends with the death of a United States senator. A personal connection to the “swatting” case makes Roger determined to charge the teenager to the fullest extent of the law and pushes Kate to her limits in the process. Meanwhile, Jay is tasked with defending New York’s most spoiled millennial from going to jail for her petty crimes.
Tina faces legal consequences as she defiantly insists on protecting a young boy after his father, a witness in Leonard’s case, has a run-in with ICE agents that could lead to his deportation. Elsewhere, Kate is determined to establish her worth to Roger and takes on a significant murder case involving a prominent New York criminal defense attorney.
Seth becomes committed to taking an immune international diplomat to trial so he can get out of general crime and onto a more senior unit. Sandra works on a kidnapping case and is convinced the kidnapping was an accident. Meanwhile, Jay is certain that taking a different route to work will determine how successful he will be in the courtroom.
The team in the public defender’s office takes on the case of a young man accused of strangling a woman to death and are determined to prove him innocent. Meanwhile, Tina and Sandra go head-to-head after a man is arrested while transporting a body part through the airport. Elsewhere, Seth and Leonard grow closer after they are tasked with speaking to a conference of an unusually young group of future lawyers.
Sandra urges Kate to take on a case against a very powerful and well-respected judge who is accused of wrongfully sentencing young children for profit. When Judge Bryne is asked to testify in the case, he questions his role in the rigid justice system and must make a very difficult decision. Elsewhere, Seth temporarily moves in with Jay until a leak in his apartment is fixed.
Leonard takes on one of the country’s best and most prolific litigators in a case that leads him to grapple with his personal feelings related to race and privilege in America. Back at the public defender’s office, Jay takes on his first drug case, but things heat up when he has to work with a rather unconventional lawyer. Elsewhere, Sandra tries to prove she’s not a workaholic and bonds with Ted over boxing to let off some much-needed steam.
Sandra is tasked with negotiating a plea agreement for a homeless man accused of trespassing a national wildlife refuge. However, she later suspects that he might have been involved in a more serious offense and enlists Ted to help her investigate. Meanwhile, Roger and Jill’s relationship is tested when the prosecution is forced to subpoena Sandra after learning she may have further knowledge of the crime. Elsewhere, Seth starts spiraling out of control after accidentally stealing evidence in a drug case.
Allison defends a man arrested for selling illegal cigarettes and is determined to get him released without bail. Elsewhere, Judge Byrne is called to jury duty where his excitement for a chance at experiencing the criminal justice system from another perspective is quickly tempered by the harsh realities of the process. Meanwhile, Sandra is still emotionally recovering after sending her client to prison for murder.
Sandra and Kate’s relationship is put to the test when they go head-to-head over a high-profile bank robbery case. On the defense side, Alison helps Jay as he decides to take an unconventional approach defending their war veteran client. Meanwhile, Tina gives Roger advice about his relationship with Jill, a relationship beginning to show its cracks.
On Election Day, Jay turns to Kate and the team for help after his parents and other voters are illegally intimidated at their polling place. Meanwhile, Roger and Jill’s relationship is at an impasse when Sandra learns that they are romantically involved and challenges Jill’s judgement. Elsewhere, Seth gets assigned to the case of a lifetime, but his anxiety increases when he is appointed a bodyguard to help protect him, all while Sandra and Ted take their relationship up a notch.
The series premiere of the drama about six talented young lawyers who work on opposite sides of the law and handle the most high-profile and high-stakes federal cases in the country.
The six young lawyers are determined to bring home wins during their second round of cases; Jay must set aside his personal feelings as he defends a client with controversial beliefs; Sandra's idealism leads to an important lesson from Ms. Krissman.
Sandra and Kate go head-to-head on a high-profile case involving a young woman accused of leaking classified information, but they learn to find common ground in their fight for justice and pursuit of the common good. Allison struggles to make a case for her client as the courts look to new technology to avoid bias, and Leonard seeks professional legitimacy at the cost of a personal relationship.
After Seth learns that the people of his hometown and former elementary school in Lincoln, Nebraska, have become seriously ill due to groundwater contamination, he becomes invested in seeking justice, potentially jeopardizing the future of his career. Sandra, Jay and Allison assist Jill with a potential murder case, but as they grow skeptical of their client, Jill only grows more passionate.
Judge Byrne finds himself at a crossroads in his career when he presides over a case that requires a disproportionate mandatory minimum sentence. Allison represents a charming defendant in a fraud case while on duty for the first time, and Leonard struggles to decide whether or not to bring charges against a political figure.
Allison defends a man accused of stealing supplies intended for victims of a devastating island hurricane and goes up against Celia Chavez, a tough Assistant U.S. Attorney for whom losing is not an option. Sandra defends a peculiar client accused of assault, but with an altered view of reality and on the other side, Kate is being sought after by an ATF agent in need of legal advice for an unlikely suspect.
Leonard is forced to confront some longstanding insecurities when his new high-stakes case leads him to question what is right and what is wrong. Sandra goes head-to-head with Seth who files charges against a daring comedian accused of threatening a U.S. president’s life; and Jay defends a tennis player accused of intentionally throwing a match to help his coach win a bet he placed against him.
Jill and Roger’s complicated friendship is tested when they finally square off over a DEA raid that left an inmate clinging to life. Meanwhile, Kate is assigned to an animal smuggling case involving the death of an endangered panda; and Jay’s emotions are thrust into a case when he learns his trusting father was a victim in a pyramid scheme.
Sandra goes the extra mile for a client when she goes up against the FBI and ends up in one of the most unexpected and compromising situations of her young career. Meanwhile, Roger assigns Kate, Seth and Leonard to work on a highly sensitive case after receiving a tip alleging that the governor of New York is trying to illegally sell a seat in the Senate.
Sandra defends a hydrologist accused of spying for the Chinese government, but the similarities between this and a former case she lost has her confidence shaken. Meanwhile, Jay faces his fears and goes up against Kate in a case involving a PTA president accused of selling drugs to students; and Allison receives a tempting proposition from her wine-forger client, and Leonard reaches out to Kate for advice that culminates with a surprising confession. Season Finale