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What Happened to Angie Harmon's Character Abbie Carmichael on Law & Order?

The assistant district attorney served with the legendary Jack McCoy on both the original show and on SVU.

By Jessica White

A legion of exemplary lawyers have graced Law & Order throughout the series, which always took some serious grit — and Assistant District Attorney Abbie Carmichael (Angie Harmon) was always up for the challenge. 

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Dominating Seasons 9 through 11 of Law & Order and appearing in the debut season of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Carmichael was a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom. Famous for being one of the few assistant attorneys to make the "bulldog" District Attorney Jack McCoy (Sam Waterston) look like a softy, Carmichael was completely no-nonsense, disarmingly charming, and ceaselessly calculated. 

RELATED: What Happened to Sam Waterston's Character Jack McCoy on Law & Order?

When she left the show after two seasons (and one at SVU), she left enormous shoes to fill.

A.D.A. Abbie Carmichael in a scene from Law & Order.

When did Abbie Carmichael first appear on Law & Order?

After ADA Abbie Carmichael was introduced in Law & Order's Season 9 premiere ("Cherished"). The quick-witted lawyer captivated fans from 1998 to 2001, appearing in over 70 episodes of the NBC procedural.

RELATED: Where You Can Watch Law & Order on NBC

She joined the crew after being transferred from the Narcotics Bureau to replace ADA Jamie Ross (Carey Lowell). Viewers soon learned Carmichael was from Dallas, with conservative political viewpoints that often put her at odds with the more liberal lawyers and cops around her. She had strong stances on abortion, opposed gun control, and supported the death penalty.

Her most iconic line? "No deals for anybody. Let's hang 'em all."

Abbie Carmichael on law and order episode 901

When did Abbie Carmichael appear on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit?

While Carmichael was appearing on Season 11 of Law & Order, she also tried cases during SVU's debut season.

Ultimately, she appeared in six episodes, serving as the go-to prosecutor for Manhattan's SVU and its detectives Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni).

Law And Order Svu 703 Abbie Carmichael

What was Abbie Carmichael's relationship with her boss Jack McCoy?

Carmichael and McCoy couldn't have less in common aside from their chosen career paths, and her welcome to his office was pretty icy, especially given how different her politics were.

But a trial in Season 9, Episode 8 ("Punk") shed light on Carmichael's vulnerable side and helped her develop a warmer professional relationship with her boss.

In the episode, Carmichael was prosecuting an incarcerated woman charged with the murder of a corrections officer she alleged had coerced her into a sexual relationship. (A corrections officer having any sexual contact with a prisoner is always considered to be a sexual assault of the prisoner, regardless of the circumstances.)

Carmichael had prosecuted the woman on the drug charge that landed her in jail, and was initially both unsympathetic to her allegations against the officer and determined to put her away for life.

However, after the incarcerated woman admitted that she blamed herself for being sexually assaulted, Carmichael's entire demeanor shifted and she suddenly offered the woman a plea bargain.

Understanding something was swirling beneath the surface, McCoy reached out to Carmichael to see if she needed support. 

Carmichael revealed to McCoy that the case had become personal because she had sexually assaulted while in college by a law student she was dating. She admitted that she'd blamed herself for the assault for years, and fans (and McCoy) got a better idea of who she was as a person. 

Abbie Carmichael and Jack McCoy on law and order episode 1124

When did Abbie Carmichael leave Law & Order?

Carmichael's final appearance in Law & Order was in Season 11, Episode 24 (“Deep Vote”). While many Law & Order exits have been tragic — Dick Wolf is by no means afraid of a dark exodus — her reason for leaving the precinct was a suitable send-off for the passionate ADA.

RELATED: Media Legend Dick Wolf's Career Highlights and Achievements

Carmichael, it turned out, had accepted a promotion to work at the U.S. Attorney's office in New York, and McCoy was keen to give her his blessing as she explored a new chapter in her professional career.

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