Whilst here at The Lawyer Portal we fully stress the importance of productivity during your time in self isolation, particularly if you are working from home or have law exams coming up, it is still really important to dedicate some time to yourself.
One of the best ways to do that is to snuggle up with some great Netflix content. So here’s a rundown some of the best law-related TV shows, films and documentaries available on Netflix to give you your law fix during self isolation.
TOP TIP: Chrome has a free downloadable extension called Netflix Party which can allow you to watch the same Netflix show or movie at the same time as your friends. It even has a chat feature!
Suits is an American legal drama. It follows Mike Ross, who starts working as a law associate for Harvey Specter at a New York City law firm despite never having attended law school. The first few seasons focus on Harvey and Mike closing cases whilst trying to maintain Mike’s big secret.
Suits has 9 seasons, so plenty of legal content to get your teeth into. Also, if you want to see Meghan Markle acting before she became a royal, Suits is the one for you.
How to Get Away with Murder is a series portraying a law lecturer at a prestigious university, Annalise Keating, who alongside five of her students becomes entwined in a murder plot. Whilst ultimately a thriller television series, some of what is shown on the show, particularly in the lectures given by Ms. Keating will ring bells even for law students in the UK.
One thing to note about these students though is that, despite being embroiled in some serious drama, they do very little work. So try not to model your study routine around the Keating 5!
Unbelievable is a Netflix mini-series intended to dramatize the 2008-2011 Washington and Colorado serial rape cases. The story comes from a Pulitzer-Prize winning article by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong entitled “An Unbelievable Story of Rape.” It begins with a teenager, Marie, who is charged with lying about having been raped and two detectives from two jurisdictions who work together to find out the truth.
Not only does this series include some criminal law but it also highlights the problems faced when attempting to achieve justice having suffered from sexual crime. If you don’t manage to watch this in one sitting, I will be incredibly surprised.
The initial season of American Crime Story follows the infamous OJ Simpson murder case. Whether this is a case you already know about or if it is somehow one you have never come across, this dramatization will enthral you. This season received critical acclaim with praise for both acting performances as well as directing and writing.
Interesting legal issues highlighted in this series include of course murder but also issues surrounding evidence, jury trials – particularly jury selection in the US, media coverage of court cases and racial discrimination as presented in court cases.
When They See us is a 2019 is a mini-series created for Netflix. It is based on one of the most globally infamous miscarriages of justice cases known as the Central Park Jogger. You may have heard of The Central Park Five (later renamed the Exonerated Five). The series explores the lives and struggles of the five male suspects who were falsely accused then prosecuted for the assault of a woman in Central Park.
This series showcases evidential legal issues such as the right to a lawyer/counsel, right to a fair trial and confession evidence. If you’re going to watch one of my recommendations, let it be this one!
Better Call Saul is a spin-off of “Breaking Bad”. The spin-off follows the story of a con-man turned small-time lawyer, Jimmy McGill six years before the events of “Breaking Bad” and showing his transformation into criminal, Saul Goodman.
This show will be of particular interest to you if you were already a fan of Breaking Bad as, amongst Jimmy’s own storyline, we learn the histories of other Breaking Bad characters as well as hints of what is “to come” in the Breaking Bad series.
The Staircase is a 2004 miniseries documenting the trial of Michael Peterson, convicted of murdering his wife Kathleen Peterson. Camera crews were given access to the accused’s extended family, the defence attorneys and the courtroom.
As much of this documentary is filmed in the courtroom or interviewing attorneys, it gives a real insight into trials and the legal profession in the US.
Making a Murderer details the life of Steven Avery, who served 18 years in prison for the wrongful conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. He received a further conviction in 2007 for the murder of Teresa Halbach. The connected story is that of Brendan Dassey, accused and convicted as an accessory in the murder.
This documentary has a lot of information in it. It highlights the initial charges, conviction, exoneration and release of Avery for the initial charge. The civil lawsuit Avery filed against Manitowoc County regarding his wrongful conviction. His subsequent arrest, trial and conviction for the murder of Teresa Halbach as well as the arrest, prosecution and conviction of Avery’s nephew, Brendan Dassey, focusing on accusations of coercion and attorney ineptitude.
Words: Alicia Gibson
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