Not too many people realize this, but legal videos are becoming an important part of legal education. Showing clips from courtroom movies have, for a long time, been an important feature of legal education. This does not mean that any of these practices have become essential to legal education in the classroom, but, when it comes to video clips, courtroom dramas provide numerous resources for law professors to demonstrate legal procedures.
This does not mean that it is a good idea for law students to cite legal videos in briefs or other venues. Nonetheless, legal videos can go a long way toward pointing students toward other resources which might be useful. If nothing else, a movie like “My Cousin Vinny” might help prepare an aspiring lawyer for what NOT to do in court.
The courtroom has always been an important venue for drama. This goes back to the time of Shakespeare, with the famous courtroom scene of the “Merchant of Venice”. Nonetheless, legal videos represent only one means of learning about what goes on in a courtroom. And they are not always the best introduction either. After all, most people who write legal dramas do not, themselves, have any great familiarity with the inside of a courtroom.
Legal videos can sometimes be beneficial for ordinary citizens as well. Even if he or she is not a lawyer, a judge, a bailiff, a defendant or a plaintiff, anyone could at some point end up being a juror or a witness. It is for this reason that becoming familiar with legal videos is a great way to be introduced to courtroom etiquette for those who are otherwise unfamiliar.
Becoming familiar with the ins and outs of a courtroom is one of the best ways to be prepared for civic life, wherever that life may lead you.