Law School Korean drama review


The Korean drama Law School has been enjoying high ratings and even topped Netflix ranking lists worldwide, which implies that it’s good. If you haven’t already started watching Law School, we compiled reasons why you should do so.

We also shared our thoughts about the drama at the end of this Law School Korean drama review. This article contains spoilers – you don’t wish to read spoilers, do watch the 1st episode before reading this.


A drama that highlights the flaws of Korea’s legal system


law school korean drama review - poster
Image credit: JTBC

Law School centres on 4 main characters: Yang Jong-hoon, Han Joon-hwi, Kang Sol A, and Kim Eun-sook.

The unexpected murder of a professor causes chaos in Hankuk University’s law school. 1st year students Kang Sol A and Han Joon-hwi find themselves tangled in the drama, along with criminal law professor Yang Jong-hoon and civil law professor Kim Eun-sook.

The 1st episode alone highlights the flaws in Korea’s legal system and how people can get unwittingly convicted for crimes they didn’t commit, while the actual criminals get away scot-free.


Highlights


1. The drama starts with the murder of a professor


law school korean drama review - law school
Image adapted from: JTBC

The drama starts with a mock court trial for the Hankuk University law students. The case is about a murder caused by drug poisoning.

law school korean drama review - byung-ju headache
Image adapted from: JTBC

Mid-way, Professor Seo Byung-ju walks into the courtroom to watch the trial. Shortly after he enters, we see that he’s in discomfort.

law school korean drama review - joon-hwi glaring
Image adapted from: JTBC

One of the students, who is playing the suspect in the mock trial, looks up at the professor with a piercing gaze. We don’t know about their relationship yet, but judging from his cold stare, it isn’t good.

law school korean drama review - students
Image adapted from: JTBC

We catch a glimpse of the students’ personalities during their break. Han Joon-hwi, the student who was staring at the professor earlier, seems to be playful yet aloof. Kang Sol, who plays the judge, appears to be absent-minded.

We are also introduced to another Kang Sol – nicknamed Kang Sol B – who has a strong presence in the courtroom. She plays the prosecutor.

Since the class has 2 people named “Kang Sol”, the letters “A” and “B” are used to differentiate them. 

Seo Ji-ho, who takes on the role of the suspect’s lawyer, is put off by Sol B’s attitude. The dislike he has for her is obvious.

Jeon Ye-seul, who plays the courtroom guard, exchanges glances with Sol A – the absent-minded judge – throughout the mock trial, and it seems like they are good friends.

law school korean drama review - byung-ju murdered
Image adapted from: JTBC

The break drags on and the students begin to wonder why Professor Seo hasn’t returned. Sol A sends Ye-seul to find him.

Ye-seul enters his office and finds the professor slumped in his chair. Thinking that he’s asleep, she approaches him to wake him up, but realises that he’s dead.


2. Kang Sol A is a relatable student amongst her high-flying peers


law school korean drama review - jong-hoon lecture
Image adapted from: JTBC

The scene goes back in time to March 2020, a few months before Professor Seo’s death.

We know that Yang Jong-hoon was a competent prosecutor before he became a professor. This information was revealed to us when Professor Yang inspected Seo Byung-ju’s office after the latter was discovered dead.

We see his intimidating side when he calls on Sol A to answer his question. Sol A seems taken aback and does not answer immediately. Seeing this, Joon-hwi comes to her rescue and answers on her behalf. One can immediately tell that Joon-hwi is smart and understands the law well. 

However, Jong-hoon insists that Sol A answers his questions. With the help of Sol B, Sol A stammers out her answers, but Jong-hoon is unsatisfied.

law school korean drama review - Sol A
Image adapted from: JTBC

Unable to withstand the pressure, Sol A runs out of the classroom. Jong-hoon heads out to find her and tells her that he thought she was seeking an apology. It’s a confusing statement, but a flashback explains it.

The flashback shows Sol A at her admission interview. One of the interviewers is Professor Yang. Sol A declares that she wants to study law because she wants to receive an apology from the judicial system. 

law school korean drama review - Sol A's interview
Image adapted from: JTBC

She was wrongly accused of assault in the past when she was only trying to save someone. She ended up being sued and had to compensate the other party. Sol A believes that becoming a lawyer is the only way the poor can have justice.

Jong-hoon asks how she expects the law to apologise and she answers, “That’s for you to teach me, Professor.”

She wasn’t accepted into university through academic achievements, but through special admissions instead. This explains why she seems to be struggling in class. 

We also see Sol A being the only person aside from Joon-hwi who is affected by Professor Seo’s death and Professor Yang’s arrest for the murder of the former, while the rest of the class continues to focus on studying. 


3. The drama tackles cases similar to real-life crimes


law school korean drama review - lee man-ho
Image adapted from: JTBC

The outrage over the release of Lee Man-ho in the drama is similar to the outrage over the release of Jo Doo-soon, who was convicted for raping a child in 2008. The case is one of South Korea’s most infamous cases. Doo-soon was only sentenced to 12 years in jail after raping an 8-year-old and leaving her with permanent physical damage.

 The reason for the lighter sentence was because Doo-soon was under the influence of alcohol – in Korea, being drunk is a valid defense for rape. Furthermore, he claimed that he was too drunk to remember what he did. 

In 2020, before Doo-soon was released, the Korean public was horrified that a ruthless criminal like him would be released soon. Many petitioned to keep him behind bars for a longer time, and even vandalised his home after his release because they believed he would commit similar crimes again.

law school korean drama review - lee man-ho's trial
Image adapted from: JTBC

In Law School, Lee Man-ho’s crime is similar to Doo-soon’s, so it’s clear that the drama has taken inspiration from real life. Law School dramatises it by showing Man-ho’s attempt to aggravate Professor Kim Eun-suk, who was the judge who reluctantly sentenced him to only 11 years in jail. 

The use of such real-life cases make the drama seem more realistic, and it gives viewers an insight into Korea’s judicial system and its flaws. 


Verdict: 4/5


The first few episodes of Law School has an interesting plot that goes beyond Professor Seo’s murder. 

However, be prepared to get bombarded with legal jargon. The characters in the drama have the tendency to speak fast when it comes to regurgitating their knowledge.

Also, the camera angles of the 1st episode can induce motion sickness, but the camera work improves in later episodes. 

If you do not pay attention to the dates, you may end up confused because the drama jumps from one month to another. It will help to take note of the dates so that you can understand the sequence of events in the drama. 


Law School Korean drama review – all about law & justice


Law School is suitable for those who love dramas about law and justice. Fans of Penthouse may find Law School appealing as well, as there are several similarities between the 2 dramas, such as the theme of justice and the use of Greek goddesses as symbols – Hera and Themis.

You can watch Law School on Netflix.

Check out other drama reviews and articles:


Cover image adapted from: JTBC Drama and JTBC Drama

Follow The Smart Local South Korea on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram for more stories like this.