Law School: A Cinematic Overview

January 18, 2013

law school graduatesHi! I’m Sam Berbano, a Westlaw student rep. I’m excited to share a bit about my law school experience with you. This is my final year at Drake Law School in Des Moines. This past year, I kept busy and missed the premieres of many big winter blockbusters. Over break, I caught up with friends and family and watched some movies. Each ties in to the law school experience.

Here are five movies we enjoyed. If you liked them too, comment and let me know! The more popular the movie, the sooner it’ll feature in an upcoming blog post on Westlaw Insider.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Bilbo Baggins starts The Hobbit in a hole in the ground. By the time he returns from “there and back again,” he is very different. Bilbo’s haul includes incredible riches and a golden, magical ring. Your law school experience might not feature a treasure hoard or the One Ring, but it will change you.

Since elementary school, I wanted to be a lawyer. Still, the experience has changed me. Remember that “think like a lawyer” bit from The Paper Chase? It happens. Your dream job or dream location? It might change, too. How can you shape your own unexpected journey?

Spielberg’s amazing costumes, sets, and acting bring us right to the end of the Lincoln presidency. Between planning the war, preparing for peace, and pushing everyone’s political buttons, the President is very busy. Law students feel just as busy. Besides coursework, many students have jobs, skills competitions, write for a legal journal, and are involved on-campus. Add to the mix family, friends, and other responsibilities before law school.

Last fall, I commuted about an hour to Drake Law School, worked with Westlaw, clerked, tutored, competed on the ABA Arbitration team, and interned in athletics compliance and appellate defense. I’ve discovered several time management tricks that could help you keep your Lincoln-like schedule under control.

I’m a fan of the rugged new James Bond. Our hero saves the world again in Skyfall, with many a nod to the classic films. But it’s not as effortless as before! Bond is off his game and takes a while to get back to his old self. In the meantime, the results aren’t pretty. In the trailers, Bond gets told “there’s no shame in saying you’ve lost a step.”

Did you have that feeling when first-semester grades were posted? I did. While first-semester’s grades were worse than I’d hoped, I eventually put it all in perspective. If you’ve had a rough semester also, we’ll talk about how to become your old self again.

Les Misérables
My family and I enjoy singing. At Iowa State, I acted in The Music Man. Les Misérables is one of my favorite musicals. Jean Valjean fights the good fight: thinking of people before himself. Hugh Jackman’s rendition of “Bring Him Home” brought down the house.

The Iowa Lawyer’s Oath emphasizes the cause of the downtrodden and oppressed. This past year, I worked for a legal aid nonprofit in bilingual outreach. In another internship, I argued two criminal appeals. We’ll talk about the importance of volunteering and public service.

It’s A Wonderful Life
In this traditional classic, George Bailey gets a new perspective on life. By seeing how the world would be different without him, George realizes how important his small deeds were. We’ll talk about a grab bag of topics that make a wonderful life.

So, what movies did you enjoy over break? What will we talk about first? Leave your comments below. I’m looking forward to hearing from you!