Question of the Week

Have you ever had a law prof use TV or film to illustrate a concept?


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On a recent snowy Friday when only five students could make it to class, Appalachian School of Law professor Paula Marie Young decided that she would screen a long excerpt from the the film The Negotiator.

“It illustrates so many concepts I discuss in my courses,” Young wrote at her blog, The Red Velvet Lawyer. Young teaches certified civil mediation and dispute resolution.

There’s also a TV series Young likes for this purpose: “I could create an entire course based on the negotiation tactics Francis Underwood uses in House of Cards,” she wrote in a short subsequent post. “My idea. Don’t steal it, please.”

Using a fictional dramas to teach law students isn’t unheard of: A William & Mary law professor created a textbook and class titled: The Wire: Crime, Law and Policy, based on the HBO television show. But how often is it really done?

So this week, we’d like to ask you: Have you ever had a law prof use TV or film to illustrate a concept? If so, which program or movie? If you have your own ideas about films or TV shows that lawyers or law students could learn a thing or two from, share that as well. (But be sensitive to your fellow readers—and moderators—and include spoiler warnings if you want to discuss the just-released season of House of Cards.)

Answer in the comments.

Read the answers to last week’s question: Are you still with your law school sweetheart? Or did stress kill the relationship?

Featured answer:

Posted by honey: “We survived two law schools at two separate points in our marriage. My husband went to law school right out of college, and I worked as a teacher. We had children, and I went into the health care field, but always wanted to be an attorney. I went to law school when our children were older, and the stress of being an older student was awful, but we survived, and he supported me as I had supported him. He lived to see my practice grow, but lost his life to a stroke about a year ago. He knew he was ill, and he also knew that I would go on in a field I loved.”

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