A couple of months ago, I was fortunate to enjoy a special tour of the Washington State Law Library, which has a fascinating history. Their collections also hold some gems, including an original set of the Pentagon Papers!
One of the displays in the public entrance to the library I enjoyed most was a “Law in Pop Culture” display, seen below. (And yes, you can also see the back of me in the photo below — I’m the one in the red jacket.)
I chatted with the law librarian who created the display — and lo and behold, she had recently written about this very topic on the Washington State Law Library blog!
The first post about this topic is entitled “Leading Lady Justice — The Law in Pop Culture,” and this part really hit home for me:
The law has been such a star in pop culture that some law schools study the intersection between the courtroom and the theater and the effect of its influence on perceptions of the legal profession and court system. After all, what we see in the movies and on TV and read in books can heavily influence how we view the real life subjects they portray.
That last line pretty sums up the point of this Reel Librarians blog! 😀
The second post, “Courtroom Drama — The Law in Pop Culture Sequel,” explores some of the stories behind famous court cases depicted in film, including:
- The real-life case behind the 1952 novel Anatomy of a Murder. I have written about the 1959 Oscar-nominated film version, starring Jimmy Stewart, here in this “Anatomy of a law library” post; the film version showcases a law library (but no law librarian, alas).
- The real-life case behind the Oscar-winning film Philadelphia . There IS a reel librarian in this film, but I haven’t yet analyzed the film for this blog. It’s on my list!
I have also written about a reel law librarian portrayal in the 1989 film Criminal Law, a legal thriller starring Gary Oldman and Kevin Bacon. Can you tell which one is the law librarian from the screenshot below? Check out my “Criminal law librarian” post to find out!
So please check out the Washington State Law Library blog… and if you spot any more reel law librarians onscreen, let me know! 😀
- “Courtroom Drama — The Law in Pop Culture Sequel.” Washington State Law Library Blog, 26 April 2018.
- “Leading Lady Justice — The Law in Pop Culture.” Washington State Law Library Blog, 19 April 2018.