LSAT Study Break: 4 Must See Movies, Take 2

May 24, 2013
Stuart Kovinsky

The LSAT is less than 3 weeks away. You’ve been studying like a maniac and you’re in dire need of some R&R. Clearly, it’s time for an LSAT Study Break.

In our last Study Break we talked about 4 must-see movies: The Paper Chase, Legally Blonde, My Cousin Vinnie and A Few Good Men. I got a lot of emails from people angry that their favourite law movies didn’t make my list! So, to avoid a lynching, here’s part 2 of “the best law movies ever”.

12 Angry Men

The focus of this movie is on the jury room, not the court room, but it provides a great view into the mid-20th Century American mind. About as minimalist as possible (12 middle-American white men stuck in a room, debating the fate of the Puerto Rican defendant), the cast is stacked with actors known for their intensity.

12 Angry Men doesn’t qualify as “lighter fare” by any means, but it’s a great watch.

Erin Brockovich

Julia Roberts finally took home the big hardware – an Academy Award for best actress – for her portrayal of real-life heroine Brockovich in a movie that’s both entertaining and informative.

While not much of the movie takes place in the courtroom, there’s still a lot of legal action – the kind that most summer interns and junior associates see (sorting through thousands of documents, interviewing witnesses and, of course, getting million dollar bonus cheques from gruff but lovable senior partners).

And Justice for All

Rule #1 of legal practice: never ask a question to which you don’t want to know the answer. After all, if you know your client did it, you’ve greatly limited your legal defences.

Of course, following the rules has never made for good cinema. So, what does Al Pacino do after confronting his detested client, who then freely admits that he’s guilty of rape?

Al to the jury: My client, the honorable Henry T. Fleming, should go right to @#$* jail! The son of a bitch is guilty!

*chaos ensues*

Judge: You’re out of order!

Al: You’re out of order! You’re out of order! The whole trial’s out of order!

… and movie quote immortality is attained.

Miracle on 34th Street

I can only imagine the pitch for this one:

George Seaton (writer/director): I have this idea for a great new legal thriller.

Studio exec: **yawn** oh, that sounds original.

Seaton: umm… well, this one is different!

Exec: sure sure… let me guess… guy is wrongly accused, messes up his otherwise great life, girl leaves him, stirring courtroom scene with a little kid, guy cleared, girl comes back.

Seaton: (under his breath – doh!) umm… yah, but there’s a new spin – the guy is… umm… (the tooth fairy? The President? The Easter Bunny?)… Santa Claus!

Exec: you have my undivided attention.

If watching Santa on the stand doesn’t distract you from the LSAT for at least a couple of hours, then nothing will!

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Do you have a favourite that still hasn’t made my list? You want to be a lawyer – make your case for why it should have!

Stuart Kovinsky

Stuart Kovinsky I'm Stuart Kovinsky, an out-of-the-closet LSAT geek from Toronto. I've been teaching for Kaplan for over 20 years (not counting a 5 year break to practice as a commercial litigator at a big Toronto firm) and, working both as a teacher and an admissions consultant, have coached a lot of students to their top choice schools. I'm also an ultimate frisbee enthusiast - when not in the classroom or behind the keyboard you'll often find me on the field.

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