Law in Popular Culture
Reviewed by Brenan Sharp as seen in the ABA Journal
This movie is based upon a real-life insurance attorney James Donovan, portrayed by two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks.
After 3 grueling years of law school and passing the bar, lawyers often discover that the cases they'd like to tackle aren't necessarily the ones which put enough food on the table. It's very difficult to come across and try a case which eventually goes before the highest court in the land, much less one bearing both historical and international significance.
The gist of the story is in 1957, the New York State Bar approached Donovan to represent an alleged Russian spy to give the appearance of-but not to actually provide-a fair trial. Refusing to be part of the charade, Donovan provides zealous representation for his client, taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The rest is history and a must see, especially for lawyers.
An attorney should always defend the right of the client to be heard.