ABA Journal

12 movies with pivotal lessons featuring lawyers


Movies transport us. They take us to different times and places, bringing laughter in one moment and tears in the next. But no matter how outlandish the plot, at their core movies examine the human condition. We tell stories about ourselves to ourselves, even if the characters are ostensibly aliens or animals or fuzzy monsters. They are based on realities we can learn from.

So while no real-life courtroom may be run like a movie courtroom, there are plenty of deeper truths woven into screenplays and plenty of lessons to be learned—even when we’re looking for entertainment, not an education.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a collection of pivotal movie scenes that have useful takeaways for lawyers. Grab some popcorn and enjoy!

Click here to view an alphabetical list of the movies with key scenes and read about our contributors.

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