When people ask me what kind of lawyer I want to be, they often ask if I’m going to be a “Law and Order-type guy.”  I assume they’re referring to the guys that wear fancy suits in fancy courtrooms and say things like, “Objection, your Honor!” while waving around a piece of slam-dunk evidence.

Sometimes, just to make things easier for myself (and more interesting for whoever I’m talking to), I just say yes.  Most of the time, however, I explain that more than 98% of litigation doesn’t go to trial, and that most of my time will be spent in front of a computer, typing away.  But that doesn’t mean that Hollywood doesn’t have valuable lessons for law students.

This semester, my Evidence professor, Holly Maguigan, has put on clips from both “A Few Good Men” and “My Cousin Vinny“, much to the delight of everyone in the class (we even applauded after the clips were over).  Perhaps we’re all sleep-deprived and appreciate a few minutes in dimmed lighting, or perhaps we’re just nostalgic for the times when we’d get to watch movies regularly in school (Bill Nye the Science Guy, anyone?).

Marisa Tomei's Mona Lisa Vito was an expert on cars. And a very good witness.

Either way, it was a nice change of pace – and surprisingly educational – to have Demi Moore teach us how to call witnesses to rebut testimony, and watch Joe Pesci qualify Marisa Tomei as an expert.  Even if 98% of my time as a lawyer won’t be spent doing what they’re doing.

This entry was written by and posted on December 15, 2010.
The entry was filed under these categories: Classes, Law and Pop Culture

Read more from Life at NYU Law

Life at NYU Law · Subscribe RSS Feed now