Law School: Episodes 10-11 Open Thread
It’s internship season, and now the students are working on not just one but two cases in their spare time. Will Yangcrates be able to escape a targeted witch hunt by the prosecution? Can the study group assemble a bulletproof self-defense case while also passing their exams? Does anyone have time to sleep?
EPISODES 10-11 WEECAP
Jong-hoon (or rather Sol A) has found a way for him to defend Ye-seul without resigning from his job, and the study group has united to work on their classmate’s defense. It tickles me to see them gathered around that table in the school copy center with Eun-suk and Jong-hoon, as impressive in their own way as Assemblyman Go’s army of lawyers. Even if Jong-hoon disregards all of their advice.
He did great with the jury, honestly—I was as worried as Eun-suk that he’d alienate them with his uncompromising manner and intense gaze, but he played it perfectly. (I loved that exchange between the prosecutors: “Is this really his first jury trial?” “It’s his first time as a lawyer!”)
But inciting a convicted pedophile to kill your public nemesis, while you’re still technically indicted for murder? Not the smartest move, dude. You KNOW these two are the kind of men to use your words against you, however benignly meant. And clearly Jong-hoon knows that, so rather than being concerned, I’m more curious to see how he’ll pivot from this next week.
Sol A finds out more about her sister’s disappearance this week, although Dan herself is still frustratingly unreachable, and that gives us further insight into Sol A’s family situation.
Now we know that Sol wasn’t living at home when all this went down, which is why so much of it is a mystery to her. Their stepfather’s gambling and abusive behavior drove Dan to make some kind of deal with Assemblyman Go for money to pay off his debts, and Mom was too tormented to think of anything but immediate relief.
Mom says she regrets pushing Dan to accept the money now, but I’m honestly side-eyeing this woman. I understand being intimidated into defending your abuser, but she still refuses to tell Sol anything, even though her ex is gone—although we still don’t know when exactly, or what happened, or even if he’s dead or alive.
I really liked Sol A’s semi-drunken conversation with Joon-hwi, and not just because it was funny to see him making puppy eyes at her as she completely mistook his worry for mockery. (Those eyes, so clearly asking if she needs a hug! I swooned a little.) I can understand how frustrated she is; she never imagined attending a prestigious law school, but because of her unfair treatment at the hands of the law and her sister going AWOL, she took on that mantle in Dan’s place.
But Sol’s not naturally gifted in academics, despite her sharp mind for crafting arguments, and struggles to even pass. And she feels pathetic for her overjoyed relief that she didn’t fail; after all, she’s still at the bottom. Students like Joon-hwi, Ji-ho and Seung-jae excel without seeming to work all that hard (or by cheating, though she doesn’t know that yet) and the grades she literally bled and cried for seem paltry in comparison. Not everyone who has a passion for justice can get into law school, and only half of these students will pass the bar.
Still—and this is something I feel the drama hasn’t emphasized enough—it’s not just that Sol A isn’t as booksmart or good at studying as her peers. The show shows Sol B’s plagiarism and Seung-jae’s cheating, and I’m sure these are serious issues in higher education. But only focusing on students who break the rules makes it seem as though the system is a meritocracy to begin with, that as long as you don’t cheat it’s a fair competition. Anyone who’s ever applied to university knows that’s blatantly untrue. I’d love to see the show explore that, because “justice only through the law” is Law School’s literal tagline. The main plot and a lot of the subplots revolve around how privileged people use the system to further entrench their power and get away with crimes that others would be crucified for, and the protagonists’ efforts to hold them accountable using the law.
As her defeated-looking father tried to explain to Sol B in their conversation by the river, there’s nothing more dangerous than a talented lawyer with no moral grounding. The inequality of educational access that predicts later inequality in university admissions is part of that. And exploring this would tie together the campus half and the legal half of this drama, which right now often feel like mismatched puzzle pieces that don’t quite form a unified