As the public’s fascination with the law and judicial process increases so does the curiosity to study those legal films thought to exhibit the quintessential trials and tribulations of the legal profession. The ABA Journal satisfied this curiosity, in 2008, when it published its top 25 greatest law films ever made. The Forum on Law Culture and Society complements our culture’s inquiry by featuring pertinent legal films during the annual Forum Film Festival at Fordham Law. The Forum and ABA Journal are definitely in agreement about the existential appeal that exists to the drama, morality, curiosity, and honourable side of lawyers. Many heads despondently shake when “lawyer” and “honorable” are used in the same sentence, but alas, the legendary Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, nominated by the ABA Journal as the best classic legal film ever produced, and the Forum’s 2007 feature movie. Atticus Finch depicts a morally sound lawyer fighting for unadulterated justice free of prejudice for his client. Since 2006, the Forum has featured 30 films depicting the transformative power of the law. From Atticus Finch to Vincent Gambini, My Cousin Vinny, different characters have demonstrated various aspects of the law that has intrigued the interest of consumers.

However, the real question here is…does the Film Festival at Fordham Law hit the mark according to the ABA Journal when choosing films considered classics?

(In rank order)

1. To Kill a Mockingbird – check.

2. 12 Angry Men – check.

3. My Cousin Vinny – check.

4. Anatomy of a Murderer – check.

8. Philadelphia – check.

9. Erin Brockovich – check.

12. Judgment at Nuremberg – check.

17. The Paper Chase – check.

18. Reversal of Fortune – check.

20. And Justice for All – check.

22. A Civil Action – check.

24. Amistad – check.

I think it’s safe to say the Film Festival has done an exceptional job representing the most classic legal films of all time.

For the complete list of 25 visit: http://www.abajournal.com/magazine/article/the_25_greatest_legal_movies/

The Film Festival at Fordham Law combines classic legal films while still reflecting the ever-changing culture by featuring new documentaries.

For a complete list of all the films shown at the Film Festival visit:

http://www.forumonlawcultureandsociety.org/film-festival/2010

-Erica Zaragoza

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