5 legal films to watch if you want to study law

Although they’re not always the most accurate, many films explore the legal system. Here are a few you should catch if you’re looking at studying, or are studying, law.

1. Legally Blonde 1 and 2
Legally Blonde follows Elle Woods after she gets into Harvard Law School while being obsessed with pink, while the second film follows her after Law School and her move to Washington DC to work in Congress. I won’t give away too much of the story though! Legally Blonde really is a film that shows it doesn’t matter what you look like, or what you enjoy, you can study law and be fabulous. It’s definitely one of my favourite films to watch on a rainy day to brighten things up. Legally Blonde, and the spin-off Legally Blondes is available on Netflix to watch now, and it’s been announced that Legally Blonde 3 will be released in 2020!

2. To Kill A Mockingbird
This classic film follows the same story line as the popular book of the same name: Atticus Finch is the only lawyer willing to defend a black man against his accusations of rape against a white woman. The film portrays the racism and poverty of small town Alabama in the 1930’s, as well as the age old saying that you should not judge a book by its cover. While it has since been revealed that main character becomes racist himself in his old age, this films message is important to this day. You can currently get the film from the university’s library!

3. The Children Act
Another film based on a book, this recently released film follows Fiona Maye (Emma Thompson) in her role as a judge in a family court. She hears a case regarding a 17-year-old child who has cancer and wants to refuse medical treatment, specifically a blood transfusion, due to his religious beliefs. She works through this case, speaking to the child, as her marriage falls apart around her. This film is a portrayal of a hardworking judge who focuses on her work over everything else, a lesson to all to maintain a healthy work-life balance. The book that the film is based on is currently available in the university’s library.

4. The Judge
A second film that involves judges, this film follows lawyer Hank Palmer as he returns to his home town to his father Judge Palmer. He is forced to defend his father after he is arrested for murder and shows the tumultuous relationship they share. The film has a bittersweet ending, but I won’t spoil that for you now! Robert Duvall, who played Judge Palmer, received Oscar, Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for the role!

5. Erin Brockovich
This is a biographical film which follows Erin Brockovich, a paralegal who uncovers a scandal involving one of the largest gas and electric companies in the western United States. It follows her as she investigates and helps to bring a class action lawsuit against the company, winning the trust of locals who she convinces to join the suit. The film ends with Brockovich receiving a large bonus following the pay out in the case, as she continues as an environmental activist and paralegal. Julia Roberts, who played Erin Brockovich, won the Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe and more for best actress for this role, and is very highly rated.

As you can see, from comedy to biographical legal films come in all styles and with something to please everyone! I recommend grabbing a bowl of popcorn on a rainy weekend to settle in and watch them.

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