Alicia tries to prevent a convicted murderer from being executed as the fifth season begins, while also secretly planning her exit from the firm. At the governor's office, Eli helps Peter assemble his staff.
Alicia and Cary sue the NSA on behalf of a search engine, but they are unaware that Lockhart/Gardner's connection to a former client has resulted in the spy agency monitoring the firm's communications. Meanwhile, Eli tries to secure Diane's Supreme Court nomination; and Alicia's mom takes steps to support her daughter.
Alicia represents a surrogate mother who goes against the wishes of the biological parents. Meanwhile, Diane's Supreme Court candidacy puts her at odds with her colleagues; and Will makes Alicia a stunning offer.
Alicia tries to obtain Lockhart-Gardner files as she prepares to leave the firm. Meanwhile, the firm hires Elsbeth Tascioni to represent them in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought on by an employee; and Eli and Jackie disagree over how much influence she should have in Peter's administration.
Alicia and Cary represent a client who left Lockhart/Gardner, but Will and Diane delay turning over the case files to the new firm. Meanwhile, Marilyn tries to give Alicia some advice; and Will's colleagues are surprised at the new intensity he displays in the wake of the upheaval at the firm.
Alicia and Cary suspect that Lockhart/Gardner is spying on them when Zach discovers that the web cam on Alicia's computer is being accessed remotely. Meanwhile, Will gets more than he bargained for when he helps one of Alicia's former clients; and Clarke Hayden returns to offer financial advice to Florrick/Agos.
Alicia tries to block the deportation of an undocumented immigrant before he is sent back to Mexico where a cartel threatened his life. Meanwhile, Marilyn is concerned about the ethical ramifications when Eli reconnects with Natalie Flores; and Robyn tries to act more like Kalinda and become an expert investigator.
One of Alicia's clients is accused of domestic terrorism. Meanwhile, Will goes against Diane's wishes and hires an unpredictable lawyer with ties to organized crime; and Eli and Jackie clash over a Florrick family secret.
Alicia is shocked to learn that a former client has bequeathed her millions, but Lockhart/Gardner contests the will on behalf of the deceased's wife. Meanwhile, Diane asks Kalinda to check into Damian's background; and Eli and Marilyn become concerned about Peter being seen with some of Alicia's more disreputable clients at the Florrick/Agos holiday party.
Alicia represents a band suing a TV show for copyright infringement, but the case becomes psychological warfare when Will joins the opposing council and uses his knowledge of Alicia's strengths and weaknesses against her. Meanwhile, Eli hires Kalinda in an attempt to get ahead of a potential scandal.
Alicia and Will each represent one-half of a couple accused of smuggling drugs, but chaos ensues when they insist on separate jury pools for their individual clients. Meanwhile, Cary tries to woo a Lockhart/Gardner client; Kalinda attempts to repair a damaged relationship; and Marilyn investigates possible voter fraud during the gubernatorial election.
Florrick/Agos and Lockhart/Gardner fight to keep Lemond Bishop as a client when he is arrested on a drug-related charge that may have resulted from a leak inside Alicia's firm. Meanwhile, the investigation into gubernatorial election fraud continues to move forward when Marilyn is approached by an agent in the Office of Public Integrity.
Alicia looks to her past for inspiration when she is asked to deliver the keynote address at an American Bar Association conference in New York City. Meanwhile, the competition between Florrick-Agos and Lockhart-Gardner ramps up as each firm tries to align with a powerful Manhattan lawyer; and Will turns to an old acquaintance when it becomes clear that Nelson Dubeck's investigation into voter fraud isn't going away.
Alicia enlists Cary as her lawyer when she is deposed as part of the voter-fraud investigation. Meanwhile, Will goes up against a new prosecutor who proves to be a formidable adversary in the Jeffrey Grant case.
Alicia searches for answers as she tries to make sense of Will's death in the aftermath of the courthouse shooting. Meanwhile, Diane delivers the somber news of Will's passing to the firm's partners who must decide how to move forward.
Alicia and Diane consider merging their firms in the wake of Will's death, even as they take opposite sides in a contentious divorce case. Meanwhile, Alicia offers her assistance to Finn when it becomes clear that the State's Attorney is looking for a scapegoat in the Jeffrey Grant case.
Florrick/Agos represents an NSA whistle-blower and learns that the agency has been monitoring the firm and Alicia's personal life. Meanwhile, Louis Canning joins Lockhart/Gardner; and Alicia goes after the State's Attorney when he tries to make Finn a scapegoat in the Jeffrey Grant case.
Alicia becomes a reluctant witness when a body is discovered in Colin Sweeney's home while she is there. Meanwhile, an unfortunate picture of Zach threatens to become a public relations nightmare for Peter.
Alicia considers options outside of her marriage when she meets a handsome entrepreneur, while serving on jury duty. To help think through the situation, she consults her mother. Meanwhile, Diane helps some friends when their son is accused of selling drugs on the Internet.
Alicia manages the fallout when her corporate CEO client's insensitive statements to the press threaten the fate of a multi-billion dollar merger. Meanwhile, Diane and Louis Canning take opposite sides in a class-action suit involving a pharmaceutical company; and Eli learns the truth about Alicia and Peter's relationship.
Season 5 ends with Alicia and Cary learning about a threat to the firm when an open feed from a camera is left on following a teleconferenced deposition with Lockhart/Gardner. Meanwhile, Louis Canning vies for a larger role at LG; and Alicia entrusts plans for Zach's high-school graduation party to Jackie and Veronica.