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For those of you who recognize the value of mixing into the hard work of study what I would call (the occasional) “unit of pleasure”, here are a few of the best movies that address both of these needs. You won’t have to justify taking a couple of hours off – especially when you may even learn a few things to help you pass your next exam.


Submit your Top 10 movies that reasonably relate to the fine art of lawyering – or – that relate to the pursuit of great goals. If they are published on this website, earn an additional 5% discount off the cost of any customized course you may choose.

To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven’t seen it, you should. Harper Lee’s masterpiece is flawlessly brought to the Big Screen. You won’t witness a better closing argument by Jem and Scout’s sainted father, Atticus, in this classic black and white film set in America’s Depression era South.

Anatomy of a Murder. Another black and white gem – with James Stewart, Lee Remick, George C. Scott – and a host of character actors you’ll be sure to recognize. And, a great film to learn trial tactics, with defense attorney Stewart running circles around prosecutor Scott. 

My Cousin Vinny. In a word, hilarious. Passing – or not passing – the bar exam is only incidental to winning the case, as you’ll see through Joe Pesci’s sterling performance. And for those Significant Others who support you in your Legal Studies Life, they’ll be sure to find something in common with Marissa Tomei’s Academy Award winning role. Also, ‘some great lessons in evidence – the subject of Impeachment comes to mind – will be good for your review.

The Verdict. The perfect movie for those of you looking for Redemption. Or, David versus Goliath. And, another good teaching moment in Evidence – this time, about the admissibility of a Writing. With Paul Newman, James Mason, Charlotte Rampling, Jack Warden. 

Seabiscuit. Not a lawyer to be found anywhere in this one – but a must-see for those of you wondering if “persistence” and teaching methods pay off in the pursuit of Life’s Great Goals. Honoring the process of getting up the mountain, in its own way, can be as important as standing on top.

The Devil’s Advocate. Al Pacino’s Satan versus lawyer Keanu Reeve’s Conflicted Good Guy will be a good review before you take the MPRE. The subject of Professional Responsibility is much-tested on the General Bar Exam – and I think you’ll identify many of the same issues in this one.

Inherit the Wind. Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly – who’s not to like – as you spend most of your time in another Depression era Southern courtroom. This time, fighting over the Establishment of Religion in the Then-Crime-of-the-Century “Scopes Monkey Trial.”

A Few Good Men. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson battle it out in a riveting scene of Cross Examination set in a military courtroom. With Kevin Bacon, the Able Prosecutor, getting an “Assist.”

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. Set in the Wild West Days of Judge Roy Bean, when becoming a lawyer didn’t mean you had to sit for an examination. Putting new meaning to the phrase: “Them was the good ‘ol days.” Another great performance from Jimmy Stewart – and with Lee Marvin and a gritty John Wayne.

Judgment at Nuremberg. It’s post World War II and the Nazi’s are brought to justice. A true account of the Death Camp evidence – with the Third Reich the eminent loser.

There are, of course, many other commendable movies, and if you have a favorite please forward it. Be sure to give it your own review. You can get it to us through: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In the meantime, happy viewing!


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CA Bar Exam Facts

Statewide Test Results

First Time Takers
about 57.2% Fail 

Repeat Takers
about 77.1% Fail

All Takers
about 70.9% Fail

about 80.7% Fail

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  • June 25, 2019
    Register by 5/15/2019

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More Success For Ali

Cal Bar is pleased to announce that Ali Hinsche continued her remarkable run of success in having just passed the Florida bar exam.

This was her 4th (count 'em: 1, 2, 3, 4) successful bar - on her 1st attempt-following California, New York and Illinois.

While Ali worked with Cal Bar for each state, she also owes her success to persistence, hard work, and in learning how to adapt and apply the Cal Bar test-taking systems to the requirements of each bar exam.

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