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Law School Director: Kim Seok Yoon Writer: Seol In Main Cast: Kim Myung Min as Professor Yang Jong Hoon Kim Bum as Han Joon Hwi Ryu Hye Young as Kang Sol A / Kang Dan Yi Lee Jung Eun as Professor Kim Eun Sook Hankuk University Law School Students: Lee Soo Kyung as Kang Sol B Lee David as Seo Ji Ho Go Yoon Jung as Jeon Ye Seul Hyun Woo as Yoo Seung Jae Others: Ahn Nae Sang as Seo Byung Ju Jung Won Joong as Assemblyman Ko Hyeong Su Lee Chun Hee as Park Geun Tae Background: From the director of the uber melodramas “The Light In Your Eyes” and “My Wife Is Having an Affair” and the writer of “Judge vs Judge” comes this drama about Law School students having to face the differences between the ideals and principles that they are taught in law school versus the real world dynamics which can muddy the waters considerably. Review with some spoilers: The drama centers around first year law students at Hankuk University Law School. There are 2 Kang Sol’s in this class, the protagonist is Kang Sol A while the other girl becomes Kang Sol B. Kang Sol A is not the best student in her class, comes from a poor family having been raised by a single mother who really can’t cope with life, and is full of insecurities. Kang Sol A also has an identical twin sister, Kang Dan Yi, who is not seen for most of the drama, only showing up in the final episodes. Kang Dan Yi is the scholar in their family and had been a top student at the law school, before abruptly disappearing one day. One of the reasons that Kang Sol A wanted to attend the HU Law School was to solve the mystery of what happened to her sister. Kang Sol B comes from a wealthy family of judges, though her father failed to become a judge and is “only” a law school professor, and has always been at the top of her class. Kang Sol B has an extremely heavy-handed mother who is determined that Kang Sol B become a judge, no matter what it takes. The mother is so competitive she even got upset that Kang Sol B was not able to snatch the Kang Sol “A” appellation. The top student in their class is Han Joon Hwi who is actually a former police officer who had decided to go to law school to become a prosecutor. In addition to being a good student and well read in the law, he’s also the nephew of the murder victim. The murder victim is Seo Byong Ju, a former prosecutor turned law school professor and head of the criminal law department. As the drama unfolds, numerous characters, including some of the students, are shown to have reasons why they might have wanted to kill Seo Byong Ju. Kang Sol A, Kang Sol B, and Han Joon Hwi form a study group with Seo Ji Ho, Jeon Ye Seul, and Yoo Seung Jae. Seo Ji Ho is on a quest to avenge his father who had been the owner of a toy company until a false accusation of produce malfeasance was released to the press despite charges not having been made. Jeon Ye Seul is dating the son of wealthy Assemblyman Ko Hyeong Su. YS and her boyfriend had made plans to go through law school together, but YS was accepted while her boyfriend was not which enrages him. Over the course of the drama, we see that YS’ boyfriend is actually very abusive towards YS. Yoo Seung Jae is also a top student, married to a lawyer, and would eventually be shown to have been a hacker in his previous profession which causes problems for him to become a lawyer. The drama starts off with a mock trial class which is taught by Professor Yang, nicknamed Yang-crates (e.g. Yang and Socrates) by the students for his tendency to ask questions of the students and for his straightforward, biting remarks. It’s during this class that Professor Seo is found dead in his office, and Professor Yang becomes the main suspect. Professor Kim who teaches civil law is the only professor that Professor Yang had been friendly with, and is the only professor who believes in Professor Yang’s innocence. The class then investigate and try to analyze the events of what happened in order to prove Professor Yang’s innocence, using their knowledge of the law to introduce information into the trial and help the hapless lawyer Park Geun Tae who is defending Professor Yang to make various motions. As with most courtroom dramas, it is not a realistic depiction of how court cases happen, either criminal or civil, though they do throw around a lot of legal jargon and cite various parts of the criminal and civil codes of South Korea. I’m honestly not sure if the laws that they quote are legit or not since I didn’t bother to do research of it, but it sounds good. Unfortunately, it can also make some of the scenes hard to follow when hit with a barrage of legal jargon. Having said that, it actually turned out to be a satisfying watch in terms of the various twists, back-stabs, retributions, and re-found consciences that happen. There is no romance per se, though there are crushes and abusive relationships. The 2 leads in this story are more friends and colleagues than love interests, but it all still works in terms of emotions and relationships. Also, I admit that I mainly started watching this drama for Kim Bum. After not seeing him for awhile, then watching his portrayal of the conflicted anti-hero Lee Rang in “Tale of the Nine-Tailed”, I was eager to watch him in something else. There is a quality to his acting, with that reserve of pain underneath his charming smile, that draws the attention and tugs at the heart, and he delivers it in spades here as the hero. Actually, the cast here is uniformly excellent. Kim Myung Min gives a stellar performance as the law professor who just wants to turn out lawyers and prosecutors who respect and uphold the law even if he knows how the real world can operate. Ahn Nae Sang is just excellent in everything he does, here as the prosecutor who had become morally compromised and then gone on to teach law school. Hyun Woo turns in a restrained performance here, especially at the start where he keeps so much in reserve. Lee Jung Eun is by turns a tough lawyer, a tender mother figure, your fave professor who can make any topic interesting as well as turning in a comedic tour de force in several of the scenes. Overall, I’m actually glad that I binge watched it after it had finished broadcast rather than watching it while it was still airing; especially with some of the earlier episodes which were harder to watch for me, mostly as Kang Sol A acted wishy-washy over just about everything and came across as being over-emotional and hyper-sensitive. Still, I’m glad I watched it, and it has stayed with me. I’m tempted to watch it all over again, and even catch all the parts that I fast forwarded through the first time. Plot: 7 Cast: 9 The best aspect of this drama! Production Value: 7 Solid, but not that memorable Re-watch Value: 9 Have to score this high since I’m already planning on rewatching it.