While I give most of the credit to my costly law school education for passing the Bar Exam, I cannot ignore the crucial help I got from the countless hours of watching TV legal dramas and comedies. This list highlights those television series that helped me out the most:
- Law & Order. This show was the perfect balance between the roles of the police and prosecutors in investigating crimes and prosecuting the suspect. This is a great crash course in Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and even a little Constitutional Law. Plus, the “ripped from the headlines” story-lines helped keep viewers up on current events.
- Law & Order: SVU. Similar to the original, SVU typically takes the viewer from the crime until the conclusion of the criminal trial. However, SVU focuses much more time on the police investigation, making it an excellent source for those Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure questions. If you don’t find the subject-matter too disturbing, then you’ve probably found yourself glued to the TV during one of the many SVU marathons on basic cable.
- The West Wing. Undoubtedly, this series is one of the best dramas of all time. President Bartlett is the ideal liberal, democrat president. A bonus to watching these episodes in preparation for the Bar Exam is the refresher course in Constitutional Law.
- The Good Wife. Besides this being my second pick that also features Chris Noth, The Good Wife is also a worthy choice because of the writing often stays true to the actual law. This show focuses on litigation, so you get a crash course in Criminal Law, Torts, Procedure, and Constitutional Law. Best of all, you may even pick up something about Ethics if you really pay attention.
- Boston Legal. Really, this is on my list because watching James Spader in ANYTHING could never hurt. Also, Boston Legal definitely balanced out the dark themes of SVU and idealism of The West Wing, while still keeping the law on my brain.