Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Courses I - L

112: Law and Film

Credit Hours



From the turn of the 20th century through today, law has been critically important to American cinema and American cinema has been critically important to the law. This course will examine how cinema represents the law, indoctrinates audiences in jurisprudence, and explores the position of law in our culture. The course will consider such topics as the ways in which cinema portrays the negotiation of cultural conflicts through the law, interrogates the associations between law and morality, and reinterprets historical cases, evincing cultural anxieties and desires with regard to the legal system. Further, we will analyze how law films investigate issues of guilt and justice, situate audiences as jurors, and create ideal and flawed images of the lawyer, law firms, and the lawyer-client association. Films for class discussion will include Anatomy of a Murder, To Kill a Mockingbird, Presumed Innocent, Judgment at Nuremberg, Compulsion, 12 Angry Men, Michael Clayton, Adam’s Rib, Philadelphia, and The Social Network.