Best Shows For Aspiring Lawyers?

“The C-Span archives.”

“And then?” I asked, sensing that this was very much the beginning of a long conversation.

* * *

THE CLASSROOM AT Columbia Law School is not unlike any classroom in America: it has rows and rows of desks facing the professor, who sits at an elevated lectern amid stacks of books and papers—the expected elements for what you might see in just about every other law school class in this country. But after spending five minutes inside Michael Kinsley’s lecture on journalism ethics—and hearing him discuss how to cover judicial politics without being partisan or frivolous or mean-spirited (to be clear, there were no bad words) —I can say with confidence that his approach to teaching is anything but typical. And yet if you happened to take one of his classes during my time at Columbia Law School three decades ago, you would have recognized his brilliance right away; he was always one step ahead of us when it came to grappling with complex issues like free speech and privacy rights. He had an uncanny ability to make complicated arguments seem both perfectly obvious and utterly persuasive; he could frame situations so clearly that they seemed uncomplicated even though we knew full well they weren’t; most important, he possessed a rare talent for making dry subjects (like constitutional law) deeply engaging through wit and intelligence combined with genuine warmth toward his students.*1 Not

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