July 20, 2006

Studying Law

Now showing at the Law School (courtesy of Portia Sorority): The Paper Chase.
(maraming salamat Tere for the invitation and for the copy--don't worry, I won't tell Mr. Manzano.)

The basic plot revolves around studying law in Harvard where a stern but fair Contracts professor Kingsfield (terrific John Houseman) terrorizes a first year law student Hart (Timothy Bottoms) who idolizes him (and also loves his daughter, Susan--played by a pre-bionic woman Lindsay Wagner).

There are many memorable moments in this film about studying law; many memorable lines which law professors have imbibed into their everyday line up of one-liners and sarcastic comebacks to hapless student foibles in law school.

Among the most memorable from Kingsfield: "You come in here with a brain full of mush and leave here thinking like a lawyer."

Of course, studying law in U.P. is not the same as studying law in Harvard--it's much more difficult in U.P. and the professors are much, much better (and kinder). However, oftentimes, you do get tempted to do a Kingsfield. The challenge to my students is to make Kingsfield's bold predictions ring true by "slaying" their own Kingsfields. I wrote about that in 2000 (here). Otherwise, Kingsfield's other famous prediction will ring true:

Kingsfield (to Hart): "Mr. Hart, here is a penny. Go call your mother and tell her there is grave doubt that you will ever become a lawyer."

1 comment:

teridon said...

hello sir.

i chanced upon your blog in one of the forwarded emails in my mailing lists regarding fraternity violence.

two months into the college of law, i am being drowned into the sea of legal fiction. questions then arise. up to when will i keep my activism, when sometimes, all that matters are procedural issues, as in mabanag v. lopez vito? then i suddenly realize, that the power of judicial review is starting to be more of a farce rather than the last beacon of truth in the midst of a corrupt political system.

but just the same, the inspiration comes from the need for more people's lawyers who will never squirm at serving the people, even at the threat of death, especially under this undeclared martial law of mrs. arroyo.