Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Law, Lawyers, and the Legal System in Film

697 | 2.0 credits


This course focuses on film portrayals of law, lawyers, and the legal system as a means of exploring questions of public policy, jurisprudence, professional responsibility, and even personal philosophy and psychology – all through the lens of filmic storytelling and filmmaking technique. Topics to be discussed include the adversary system, the lives of law students and lawyers, ethical dilemmas, various lawyer-character archetypes, the jury system, the role of judges, the tension between popular notions of justice and certain legal regimes, and the strengths and limits of the legal system as a means of resolving disputes and providing remedies. One recurring theme will be how film portrayals have both reflected and shaped the perception of lawyers and the legal system, in the society at large and within the legal community itself.