WSBA Goes to the Movies

Movie theater marquee: "WSBA at the Movies"

There are a lot of movies about lawyers—a lot a lot. We could probably make a list just ranking movies where Tom Cruise plays a lawyer.

Ambitious lawyers, crooked lawyers, cynical lawyers, military lawyers, and preposterous lawyers have all hit the silver screen, sometimes to great effect, and almost always overdramatized—no one wants to watch two hours of someone combing through court opinions … actually scratch that; there are definitely a fewlawyers who’d watch that. Especially these days, we all could use a good flick as a distraction and to while away the hours of quarantines and lockdowns—but with an estimated 4.7 trillion movie options on Netflix alone, how can you know where to best sink your time?

When film critics render their own verdicts on movies about lawyers and the law, they’re not looking at it from a different angle than they would any other Tom Cruise movie. But we want to reverse that precedent and bring to Washington’s legal community a hot take on legal movies with the legal community in mind.

At the WSBA offices, we can think of none who are more ready and willing for this task than Member Services and Engagement Manager Paris Eriksen and Member Services and Engagement Specialist Julianne Unite. On top of being pretty savvy about the world of law, these two have seen a ton of movies and continue to check out the latest releases. Have you ever been to a 4D movie? Of course not; no one has! But Julianne can not only tell you all about the experience (apparently there’s water involved?), but also which ones are worth doling out more cash for a fourth dimension. And how many titles can you check off of the American Film Institute’s top 100 films? Because Paris has watched them all and even wrote about it in her wedding vows.

So NWSidebar is proud to announce our latest release, “WSBA at the Movies”: lawyer movie reviews from two people who know lawyers and movies. We’re keeping tabs on new releases that have a legal bent and bring you a unique-point-of-view after they hit the box office.

Each movie will be ranked on a four-point scale—actually it’s a four-gavel scale—so you, the legally minded audience of NWSidebar, will know which films are worth your time and when you can save yourself from wasting billable hours. Keep an eye on NWSidebar for our review of Just Mercy (currently available for purchase on streaming services and scheduled to release on Blu-ray and DVD April 14) which will be coming soon to a WSBA blog near you.

Know of an upcoming release that’s flying under the radar? Email with the movie you’d like to see our reviewers pass judgment on.