Law School episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

By Daniel Hart
Published: April 14, 2021
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Netflix k-drama series Law School episode 1


Law School episode 1 shows many similarities as a revamped series, but that does not make it any less exciting; this will be an intriguing k-drama.

This recap of the Netflix k-drama series Law School episode 1 contains spoilers.

If you are familiar with How to Get Away with Murder, then this story will feel similar in many ways — let’s hope the revamped k-drama series is as enticing as the original. So far, this is a great stab.

Episode 1 begins in October 2020; students are doing a mock court trial at Hankuk University. One of the students impressively takes the floor. The students are asked to take a break, and they discuss the trial together, all murmuring over what happened. When one of the students checks on Professor Seo, she finds that he is dead. The police arrive, and there’s a low buzz in the university. Yang Joon-hoon arrives at the scene and looks around. He notices the blood-sugar testing strips.

The brutal teachings of Yang Joon-hoon

Episode 1 does not take long to launch into background and context — there’s a lot of law jargon, but there’s an overarching story.

The premiere flits to March 2020 — Professor Yang Jong-hoon delivers a lecture to the class — they are all alert due to his direct and strict teaching style. One of the male students named Han Joon-hwi impressively answers a question and brings his interpretation. Yang Jong-hoon tells him not to take opportunities for other students to answer. He wants female student Kang Sol A to answer; she’s nervous as she discusses her interpretation of a rape case. Kang Sol B answers the professor’s line of questioning confidently, while Kang Sol A is stricken with nerves; she nearly throws up as the professor presses her on a question on bribery. Kang Sol A suddenly leaves as the pressure gets to her.

Yang Jong-hoon asks Kang Sol A why she is giving up

But it looks like Kang Sol A is letting herself down, as further flashbacks reveal she was inspired to do law for motivated reasons.

A flashback shows Kang Sol A applying to the law school, and she told Professor Yang Jong-hoon that “law owes her an apology”. She got hit with an assault charge when she tried to help someone, and in the end, she had to settle the case against her — it was a hefty fee, and she believed the law did not serve her well, which is why she applied. She asks the professor to teach her. In the present day, the professor asks why she has given up.

The case against Yang Jong-hoon

In the past, Professor Yang Jong-hoon discusses a bribery case in class; Chief Prosecutor Seo (the man who is dead in the present) was indicted for bribery for receiving land worth 370 million from Assemblyman Ko. He was finally proven innocent at Supreme Court. Seo then walks into the lecture room and says it was a gift, so he was not prosecuted. Flashbacks show Yang Joon-hoon trying to prosecute Seo. In the present, you can tell Yang Jong-hoon is irked by Seo’s presence. Afterwards, Yang Jong-hoon tells Seo that he would have been the best prosecutor if he didn’t let him get the best of him.

This is clearly a relevant scene and serves weight at the end.

The investigation continues

In the present day, the death of Seo is still being investigated. They are waiting for the autopsy results to confirm if it was murder. Kang Sol A is irked about how everyone is getting on with their studies when there was a potential murder. She wants to know who the suspects could be. One of the suspects is Lee Man-ho, a man previously convicted as a child rapist.

The return of Lee Man-ho

We then receive context to why Lee Man-ho is a pivotal figure in the story as Law School episode 1 attempts to tie in as many characters as possible.

Episode 1 fits back to March 2020; Lee Man-ho wants to know where the Civil Code class is. He sits in a class that Kim Eun-suk is running. Flashbacks show she was the judge against Lee Man-ho. She lost herself in the sentencing and called him an “a*****e”. In the present, Lee Man-ho references Article 10-2 of the Criminal code, the Lee Man-ho Act. He tells her that thanks to him, instead of forcefully mitigating the punishment, it was amended, so the judge may or may not do that. He asks why she quit as a judge and references how she called him an ” a*****e” and that she’s lucky the statute of limitations is over, but he will sue every hateful comment he has received. Lee Man-ho states he was drunk at the time and didn’t remember his crime, and it is unfair that he served 11 years.

Kim Eun-suk requires an ambulance

A student grabs Lee Man-ho, but Yang Jong-hoon walks in and calms down tensions. Suddenly, Kim Eun-suk collapses as she starts believing — she’s pregnant. She’s rushed to the hospital, but the bleeding doesn’t stop. Meanwhile, Lee Man-ho tells Yang Jong-hoon that he will lock that student up for attempted murder. Yang Jong-hoon references September 10, 2008, and the licence plate of the hit-and-run driver at Jurae-dong. This is where a child witnessed Lee Man-ho’s rape. He states that this hit-and-run is his only cold case and that he hopes Lee Man-ho remembers something soon before the statute of limitations expires.

This felt more like a threat from Yang Jong-hoon — he evidently suspects the man for the hit and run and wants him to back off.

Was Professor Seo a drug addict?

The students learn that drugs have been found in Seo’s car and they are shocked. A sticky note was left by him that says, “I won’t apologise for being a druggy”. Kang Sol A talks of how they were the only people in the courtroom during the break, apart from a delivery man, so technically, they are all suspects.

The ending

And it looks like Kang Sol A spoke way too soon.

During a mock trial overseen by Yang Jong-hoon, the police arrive and ask for the student’s cooperation. They discuss footprints found on the scene and likely foot size and shoe type. There are several suspects amongst the group due to shoe size. The police explain that Professor Seo was killed by drug overdose by meth. It was mistaken for sugar.

Yang Jong-hoon declares the police’s actions a threat when the lead officer asks that he’s giving the culprit a chance to move forward. He asks the lead officer to leave and the mock trial to continue.

Suddenly, the police return and arrest Yang Jong-hoon for murder. As he’s cuffed, he drops a jigsaw puzzle piece. Scenes show Yang Joon-hoon murdering the Professor. As he is escorted out, the students all look at him in shock.

Law School episode 1 shows many similarities as a revamped series, but that does not make it any less exciting; this will be an intriguing k-drama.

Additional points
  • On the news, it is revealed that child rapist Lee Man-ho has been released. It’s caused shockwaves around the country.
  • Vice Dean Kang Ju-man requests the presence of Yang Jong-hoon at Hankuk University for a donation ceremony, but he doesn’t arrive.
  • Yang Jong-hoon spends a moment at the Alumnus Seo Byung-ju’s dedication point.

Netflix, Weekly TV
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