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This Article is an attempt to think critically about the pop cultural life of law, to investigate the legal and ideological messages that cultural images of law bear, and to explore how, why and to what extent television and film differ in their portrayals of law. While many legal scholars have addressed the legal content of popular culture in recent years, few have explored the field expansively or interrogated the significant differences in the images of law and legal institutions produced in the different popular media. Some scholars have traced one legal theme through popular culture generally, others have focused on one legal theme within either film or television or literature, and most take one or two specific popular texts as the subject of their investigation. In this article we take seriously the differences in legal content between film and television and attempt a broader and more theoretically-informed account of the differences and similarities between the these two important media.

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28 Colum. J.L. & Arts 91-185 (2005)