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Another legal drama from Shona Rhimes? Oh no. Except this one is kinda realistic! For the People follows the lives of a handful of Federal prosecutors and Federal Public defenders in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York — aka the Mother Court (I really think this show was originally going to be called “The Mother Court” and then they changed the name at the last second. The SDNY is the oldest and most prestigious district court in the nation. The brand new lawyers (including a bunch of Supreme Court Clerks, obviously since this is a Shona Rhimes show) work for both the defense and the prosecution as they handle the most high profile and high stakes cases in the country – all as their personal lives intersect.
Stay until the end for my Legal Realism Grade!
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I get asked a lot about whether being a practicing attorney is like being a lawyer on TV. I love watching legal movies and courtroom dramas. It’s one of the reasons I decided to become a lawyer. But sometimes they make me want to pull my hair out because they are ridiculous. Today I’m taking a break from teaching law students how to crush law school to take on lawyers in the movies and on TV. While all legal movies and shows take dramatic license to make things more interesting (nobody wants to see hundreds of hours of brief writing), many of them have a grain of truth.
This is part of a continuing series of “Lawyer Reaction” videos. Got a legal movie or TV show you’d like me to critique? Let me know in the comments!
All clips used for fair use commentary, criticism, and educational purposes. See Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, 276 F.Supp.3d 34 (S.D.N.Y. 2017); Equals Three, LLC v. Jukin Media, Inc., 139 F. Supp. 3d 1094 (C.D. Cal. 2015).
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