Teaching Students About Boston Legal


Boston Legal, the popular TV series that aired from 2004 to 2008, is an excellent resource for educating students about the legal profession and court system in the United States. With its combination of courtroom drama, engaging characters, and discussions on ethical issues, it serves as an ideal teaching tool. This article will provide educators with guidance on incorporating Boston Legal into their curriculum and teaching students about various aspects of the legal world through the show.

Lesson 1: An Introduction to Legal Terminology and Concepts

Before diving into the episodes of Boston Legal, educators should provide students with a primer on basic legal terminology and concepts. This lesson can include explanations of terms like “plaintiff,” “defendant,” “burden of proof,” and “settlement.” Educators can also introduce key concepts such as torts, contracts, and criminal versus civil law. To reinforce these concepts, teachers can encourage students to identify relevant examples when watching selected episodes.

Lesson 2: Analyzing Courtroom Strategies

To help students understand how attorneys develop their arguments and courtroom strategies, educators can assign specific episodes that showcase different techniques used by the characters in the series. By analyzing how the lawyers in Boston Legal employ various strategies – from pursuing out-of-court settlements to using closing arguments that sway jurors emotionally – students can develop a deeper appreciation for the nuances in litigation.

Lesson 3: Ethical Dilemmas in Law

One of the defining aspects of Boston Legal is its exploration of ethical dilemmas that lawyers often face. By using episodes that deal with issues such as attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interest, or other ethical concerns, educators can engage students in thought-provoking discussions. Teachers can also prompt students to consider how they would handle similar situations if they were practicing attorneys themselves.

Lesson 4: Constitutional Issues

Boston Legal frequently touches on constitutional issues, debating topics such as free speech and freedom of religion. By selecting episodes that center on these contentious issues, educators can foster discussions among students about the role of the Constitution in shaping laws and society. Further, through classroom debate or written assignments, students can refine their own opinions on these matters.

Lesson 5: Legal Reform and Social Justice

Finally, Boston Legal’s focus on social justice and legal reform offers an opportunity for students

to reflect on how the law can promote fairness and equality. Educators can implement lessons that discuss themes explored in the show, such as legal aid for marginalized community members or the challenges faced by minority legal professionals. By examining the interplay between the law and social justice in real-world scenarios, students can develop an informed understanding of these critical issues.


Incorporating Boston Legal into a legal studies curriculum not only holds entertainment value but also serves as a valuable educational resource. Through its engaging characters, compelling courtroom drama, and discussions on ethical dilemmas and social justice issues, Boston Legal provides a unique platform for teaching students about various aspects of the law. By carefully selecting episodes and crafting lessons around key topics, educators can make legal education more captivating and relevant for their students.

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