How to Get Away with Portraying a Law School

Any person who has watched How to Get Away with Murder knows the enticing manner of the show. In fact if you find yourself starting from Season One, you probably will not be getting off of your couch until hours or days later. The show follows five first year law students who were chosen to work at the esteemed Professor Keating’s criminal law firm. The underlying story is that the students themselves murdered someone, and now they are learning how to cover it up, while still attending law school, and working at Professor Keating’s firm.

Although the show’s plot twists keep the viewers coming back for more, their twists on law school conflict in great ways with the American Bar Association Standards and Rules of Procedures for Approval of Law Schools. ABA Standard 304(f) states that “a student may not be employed more than 20 hours per week in any week in which the student is enrolled in more than twelve class hours.” This statute alone contradicts the entire premise of the show, because Professor Keating makes the students work for countless hours on end, forcing the students to often pulling all-nighters just to meet her deadlines.

In one episode Professor Keating tells the students to meet her at the courthouse on a Monday morning at 9 A.M. sharp, and when one brave students explains that the hearing is the same time as their tort class, Professor Keating could not care less. In fact, she tells the students to either show up at the courthouse or drop out of the position. These are just a few of the many occurrences where the show deviates from a real law school experience. Although it may not be the best show for representing the realities of law school, the show just finished its third season, and is as exciting as ever!

One comment

  1. Agree, the student should work at least 20 hours. But it’s fictional story that’s forgivable! It is nice to see a trial court setting and how lawyers work. TL Brown Law

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