One thing that I've noticed since coming to law school is that I get really in to the legal aspects of these movies. I get proud of myself when I recognize a term and then get annoyed when the movies aren't realistic. But still, gotta love law movies because now I'm obsessed with all things law.
PS if you want some ideas on binge-worthy law TV shows, check out this post!
Duh. At this point, you gotta give props to Elle Woods for putting the thought of being a lawyer in our heads and making it look like a fun career. Even though I'm adamant that no 1L will no enough about Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure to actually help out with a case, I still love this movie because Elle is such a kick ass law student. This movie will never get old.
For some reason I had never seen this movie until this summer but damn is it good. Erin makes you want to get good at research and kick some ass for your client, even though she is only a paralegal. The best part is that it's based off a true story so it's extra inspiring. If at this point you're starting to lose excitement about being a lawyer, this movie will definitely motivate you.
The Paper Chase
I love this movie because it's actually super realistic! From the hardass professor that you're bound to have, to how nerve-wrecking being cold called can be, to how insane you feel when you're trying to remember everything for your finals. If anyone asks me what law school is like, I tell them to check out this movie (especially you 0Ls!).
12 Angry Men
This movie is so old school that it's in black in white, but it has stood the test of time. I first heard of this movie because the pre law program at my undergrad school was playing it for a meeting. After spending this summer at a court house sitting in on real trials, I really appreciate the plot of this movie. It's basically about the standard that juries are held to and how important the 6th Amendment is.
One of the first things we talked about during orientation with my professor was about the infamous McDonald's hot coffee lawsuit. Most people know the mainstream story about this case, but this documentary really goes in to all of the real facts and legal theories of it. It's super interesting to think about from a law student's perspective. And if you're thinking about going in to personal injury law (also known as Torts) then this is a little bit about what you'll actually be doing as that type of lawyer.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Such a classic, amirite?? We actually had to read this book in one of my high school English classes so I've gotten an extra dosage of Atticus Finch. But the movie is definitely worth a watch or a rewatch!
My Cousin Vinny
I liked this movie because it's kind of making fun of the fact that law school gives you practically no legal practice experience and you kinda just learn as you go once you get out in the real world. It's a comedy too so if you watch it with a non law student, they won't hate it. Just an FYI I could only find this on HBO Go. Also, this has some great examples for FRE 602 and 702!
Indictment: The McMartin TrialAnother movie from HBO Go. If you liked the OJ miniseries on Fox, you'll like this. It's basically set up the same to take you all the way through the trial and it's also about a real case. What's interesting about this case is that it lasted 7 years and cost the state $15 million to prosecute so it holds the record for the longest and most expensive criminal case. Also, the facts of this case are just crazy.
John Grisham's The Rain Maker
Ohmygod Danny DeVito! I love your work! Ha ok sorry just had to throw in a Mean Girls reference with all these other good movies. It's the newbie-lawyer-that-no-one-believes-in of My Cousin Vinny meets the unexperienced-yet-zealously-representing-your-client of Erin Brockovich. Unfortunately you can't watch it on Netflix or Amazon Prime so you have to rent it, but it's worth the $3 to get all excited about being a kickass lawyer. Shoutout to guest post blogger Jordin for recommending this to me!
Basically it's about the world of big time lawyers. It's about Tom Cruise being a top graduate from his law school so he gets recruited by this super nice firm and then of course shit goes down. It also is about the pressures that are put on lawyers, so it has some realistic parts of it.
Honestly guys, sometimes people have these really bad concepts in their heads of defense lawyers because they "get the bad guys off" but after spending this summer working in a court room, I can tell y'all that it's anything but that! This movie is great because it shows how much pressure they're under because if they mess up, their client could lose years off their life. Plus I watched this movie right after we learned about FRE 701 so I appreciated the scene where he throws his legal pad to make an objection 😂 Shoutout to Ashlyn for the recommendation!