Do you watch shows like Law & Order? Although the series ended in 2010, reruns and spinoffs still air all over the country. Just like CSI, however, the show has become one of many sources of misconceptions about a lawyer’s daily life. Award-winning media producer Jesse Lava discusses a few of these myths in a collaborative video with law schools and associations.
The video starts off with the series’ tendency to focus on violent crimes which, in reality, comprise only a small piece of the pie. In fact, according to the state Department of Justice, violent crimes counted for a mere tenth of the total number of crimes recorded in 2012. Most crimes, in fact, have to do with property. Such TV shows, in other words, give a somewhat false impression that courts mostly on violent crimes.
Yet another misconception has to do with lawyers spending most of their time in the courtroom. Due to the massive backlog, most cases are settled out of court. It can be a plea bargain for a criminal case or an alternative dispute resolution for a civil case. Drunk driving, for instance, can be settled within a month, whereas felony cases can take years to resolve.
While legal drama as a TV genre can be quite entertaining, it would be wise to take everything you see on screen with a grain of salt. If you need information on how to settle cases, it is best to talk to a real lawyer.