Unless you're studying film, watching a series to help you study seems like a cheap excuse to slack off. In many cases, that's true. Some people use a TV series as a way to motivate themselves to study. There are also more practical applications for watching series to explore the intricacies of a topic. The journal Educational Research and Reviews mentions that some users rely on foreign language films to build their knowledge of the spoken word. Law, however, isn't written in a foreign language (unless you count the miles of Latin). So how does the series "Law and Order" fit into this?
The Fact Pattern Question
"Law and Order" is based on actual situations within the United States with recurring characters. Each episode is self-contained and allows you to follow the various investigative techniques to find the answer. Even if you're not an American lawyer, you can stand to benefit from watching the series. The actual rules may differ in other jurisdictions, but watching the series allows you to figure out how those differences compare to your local legal system. You also get to follow the trial process, where you can apply the knowledge you've learned throughout the semester. While individual legal systems may vary in how they approach cases and what counts as admissible evidence, "Law and Order" gives you the chance to test the knowledge of your own system against the American system.
They Delve Into Legal Doctrine
SSRN defines legal doctrine as judicial opinions that create the standards and rules of law. The behind-the-scenes look that "Law and Order" offers to lawyers in training can allow legal advocates to understand the tactics prosecutors use in a criminal case. For personal injury lawyers like Horst Shewmaker Law, this information is essential for defending a client from a potential suit. Understanding legal doctrine helps any lawyer sharpen their reasoning within the realm of law.
They Don't Skirt Relevant Legal Issues
To say that "Law and Order" is a complex series is an understatement. The characters grapple with deep issues, not only personal but legal as well. Explanations to victims' families about balancing vengeance with morality are unique for a TV series these days. The most exciting part of their portrayal is how many everyday lawyers still grapple with these issues in real life. Seeing them represented on a screen has the added advantage for an advocate in training to know how a person may handle these interactions in real life.
Half In Books, Half With People
Law is one of the professions that require practitioners to interact with their clients in a way that's unique to this field. Understanding those interactions and the issues associated with them is vital to your success as a lawyer. While watching "Law and Order" might help you through exams, it's also likely to help you understand how to be a better lawyer overall. If you're a lawyer and haven't watched any of this series, you don't know what you're missing out on. Maybe, before you take those finals, you should relax by watching a relevant series for once.