BY MR. ANDERSON
In the wake of last fall’s announcement that the 3L paper requirement could be fulfilled through completion of two or more shorter papers, Dean Kagan announced Friday that the Legal Profession course requirement could now be fulfilled either by taking the course, or by submitting proof that the student has both listened to the BarBri MPRE review lecture and sat through an entire showing of “The Devil’s Advocate,” the 1997 film starring Keanu Reeves.
“Our goal is to provide HLS students with flexibility to pursue their interests throughout their legal education,” Kagan told the Record. “Besides, that BarBri lecture is four hours and “The Devil’s Advocate” is two, which is more time than most students spend on their Legal Professions course anyway.”
Students generally praised the change. “I had been meaning to take BarBri anyway,” said one 2L, “and I’ve had a thing for Keanu Reeves ever since “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”
Others, however, expressed concerns that “The Devil’s Advocate,” in which Keanu Reeves plays a young lawyer who discovers his new boss – played by Al Pacino – is literally Luficer, the Prince of Darkness, might be a painful movie to sit through.
“Keanu Reeves’s idea of a serious role is to squint a lot, and then glare at the horizon,” said 3L Bill Johnson. “I’m glad I’m taking Legal Professions right now; I’d have to drink even more to get through the movie than I do to get through class.”
Dean Kagan dismissed these concerns, saying that students should note that “The Devil’s Advocate” is running at 71% on the popular movie review compilation site rottentomatoes.com. “Jeffrey Westhoff of the Crystal Lake, Il. Northwest Herald called the movie ‘A hell of a lot more fun than any film bearing John Grisham’s name,'” she said. “This is a completely appropriate movie to introduce into the HLS curriculum.”
HLS Professor Charles Nesson, long a proponent of film in the classroom, agreed. “All these years I’ve been showing ‘My Cousin Vinny’ in Evidence class because I know that students need to learn the importance of studying courtroom tactics and the tire prints of classic cars,” he told the Record. “If this movie can teach students what to do if they find they’ve accidentally sold their eternal souls in exchange for a high paying job, it’s all to the good.”