The American Bar Association’s Six Types of Movie Lawyers

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 3:19 pm

The American Bar Association’s ABA Journal magazine has an article about movie lawyers that is not the usual top 50 list. Thane Rosenbaum writes about the six types of movie lawyers: crusading, heroic, obtuse, disillusioned, vengeful, and buffoons. Of course, some of the best movies have lawyer characters who fall into more than one of these categories. “To Kill a Mockingbird” has the greatest of all movie lawyers, Atticus Finch, who is heroic and crusading. “Anatomy of a Murder,” based on a novel by a lawyer/judge and starring a real-life judge as the movie’s jurist, had a lawyer who was disillusioned and heroic, and so did “The Verdict” and “Michael Clayton.” “My Cousin Vinny’s” title character was a buffoon and sometimes obtuse, but a hero, too.

I’m a lawyer from a family of lawyers, and I love movies about the law, including the ones listed above (I have to point out that “The Verdict” is completely inaccurate and even “Anatomy of a Murder” has one huge mistake). I especially like movies about real-life lawyers like “Gideon’s Trumpet,” “Amistad,” “Erin Brockovich,” and the upcoming “Loving.”

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