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This book is the reader for a course with the general theme of “Law and Popular Culture” or “Law and Film.” It is about the interface between two these two enormously important subjects. It is suitable for undergraduate and graduate classes or seminars in American studies, criminal justice, political science, film studies, or many other academic programs, as well as in law schools. The course can be taught by anyone interested in law as well as film and television and requires no specialized academic training. This is the third edition of the book which has a new co-author (Jessica M. Silbey) as well as a new publisher (Vandeplas). There is an extensive teacher’s manual to assist instructors.

The book provides material on popular culture that may be unfamiliar to most law students, as well as material on law that may be unfamiliar to non-law students. The course is popular wherever it’s offered; students are fluent in the language of popular culture and participate enthusiastically in discussions about law as it appears in film and TV.

The book brings to life such law-related subjects as the adversary system, bad lawyers, juries, life of lawyers, and legal education as well as specific legal subjects such as the criminal and civil justice systems, family law, and the death penalty—each of them covered by separate chapters and illustrated by particular films or TV shows. It also discusses culture-related subjects such as film-making technique, censorship, and the economics of film production.



Publication Date



Vandeplas Publishing


Lake Mary, FL


law and popular culture, law and film, law and humanities, film studies, television


Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law | Film and Media Studies | Law

Law and Popular Culture: A Course Book (3rd edition)