ICYMI: Corcos on Columbo Goes to Law School: Or, Some Thoughts on the Uses of Television in the Teaching of Law @LpcProf

ICYMI: Christine Corcos, LSU Law Center, has published Columbo Goes to Law School: Or, Some Thoughts on the Uses of Television in the Teaching of Law at 13 Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal 499 (1993). Here is the abstract.

One of the latest trends in legal education is the use of popular films to teach selected legal concepts. As faculty re-evaluate the case method and its application in specific subject areas, they also investigate pedagogical approaches borrowed from other disciplines. Some law schools now incorporate law and film courses into the curriculum. The number of professors who use film and television clips or refer to cinematic characters and situations to illustrate the law at work in society is rapidly increasing. Continuing Legal Education (“CLE”) is another arena for video integration. In addition, at least one law firm has used a Broadway production to enhance its associates’ training. Educators generally choose films and plays emphasizing professional ethics and client counseling. Such dramas focus on either the legal system or on the attorney and his or her role in the drama. Therefore, they lend themselves to use in both professional responsibility courses and in studies of the justice system or alternative dispute resolution. By emphasizing the role of the lawyer and oversimplifying legal issues these dramas tend to distract the viewer from considering the questions of substantive law. Therefore, most law teachers using films in class have not used them in a course such as criminal procedure or evidence. The teaching of substantive law through film using a rapidly maturing video technology need not be outside the realm of possibility, however. The rush to incorporate cinematic visions of lawyers into the law school curriculum has overlooked at least one television series which offers law teachers an opportunity to concentrate on substantive law.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.