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This review contains spoilers and covers episodes 1 to 4 of Law School, which is currently showing on Netflix.
Law School takes the phrase 'you've been lawyered!' to a whole new level, and in a good way too.
The law students of Hankuk University's Law Faculty are a rather rebellious defiant bunch, and their teachers are even more irascible.
Professor Yang Jong Hoon (Kim Myung Min from Six Flying Dragons), a former public prosecutor who lords over his students with his iron-fisted teaching methods based on Socrates' interrogative style, is impatient and callous. His only mission is to forge competent law professionals out of his young charges, through fire and sword if need be.
His students detest his brusque teaching style and abrasive personality, but his model students don't hesitate to take him on. Han Joon Hwi (Kim Beom from Tale Of the Nine-tailed) is a fresh, first year law student, but not lacking in knowledge or quick wits, although his contemporary Kang Sol (Roo Hye Young) comes from a poor background and is still finding her feet.
Things take a swift and sudden turn when another law professor Seo Byung Ju, also a former chief prosecutor and Jong Hoon's former boss, is found unconscious and eventually pronounced dead in his office.
Speculations run wild among the students as to whether Jong Hoon, who detested his former boss, was the culprit. The university's dean holds meetings with the various heads of departments on Jong Hoon's reputation and his ability to continue teaching after the police arrest him on potential murder charges.
But as more evidence emerges, some of the students are suspected as well. All the students whose footprints were found in Professor Seo's office are called to be questioned, including Joon Hwi and his classmates Kang Sol (Lee Soo Kyoung) and Seo Ji Hoo (David Lee from The Hypnosis). (Yes, there are two characters called Kang Sol – Prof Yang differentiates them by calling them Kang Sol A and Kang Sol B.)
Law School is uncannily cerebral, mostly thanks to the great, fast-paced script peppered with the actors rattling off articles from the Constitution of Law. It is fascinating to see the litigious back-and-forths in the mock trials between the students, although the capable way that the students do it feels more like fourth year law students than freshmen.
There are also many flashbacks and Sherlock Holmes-esque logical deductions as both the police and students themselves examine evidence and cross-reference them to try and figure out who the killer is.
It is an absolute pleasure to watch Kim Myung Min's intensity in his role as Professor 'Yangcrates', a nickname based on his Socrates teaching method coined by his students. He remains clinical and unfazed even as he is put in jail, and the public opinion is turned against him, with many of his students gloating behind his back and secretly hoping that their most hated professor is the alleged killer and is put away for good.
Another brilliant scene happens when Yangcrates holds a class where he challenges his students to find evidence that he is the killer, based on the evidence and statements that the police had gotten so far, and to substantiate their answers in an exam based on his murder case.
Law School is a worthy watch for viewers who have grown tired of languid romance dramas and want a change of pace.
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