6 lessons learnt from Legally Blonde

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By Christianah Omobosola Babajide on

What would Elle Woods do?

Exciting news has recently surfaced: the one and only Elle Woods will be making a comeback in a prequel to the cult-classic Legally Blonde. The prequel will focus on her teenage years, long before her admission to Harvard Law School.

Here are some of the best life lessons that Elle Woods taught us.

Never judge a book by its cover

At first glance, it looks like Legally Blonde is about a ditzy blonde sorority sister that wears copious amounts of pink, attempting to get her ex-boyfriend back after he broke up with her for being more ‘beauty than brains’. However, upon closer inspection, the protagonist, Elle Woods, has more to teach us than meets the eye.

The scene that introduces us to Elle teaches us that appearances can be deceiving, and it’s important not to make assumptions about someone’s capabilities based on how they choose to present themselves.

Aspiring lawyers can learn valuable lessons from her about embracing femininity and remaining assertive when being underestimated or maltreated in a male-dominated space. Similarly, the Barbie movie showcased the power of self-belief and challenging stereotypes, inspiring women to pursue their dreams unapologetically, as Barbie herself is historically an unmarried woman of varied pursuits who does not limit herself to any one career or stereotypes, encouraging young girls to aim for the stars.

The concept of ‘girlhood’

Despite not understanding her need to go to law school, Elle’s sorority is nothing short of supportive of her new-found legal dream. The movie doesn’t just promote higher education for women but encourages tolerance and healthier relationships between women. In the movie, Elle gets into Harvard and wins her trial.

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In today’s media landscape, celebrating girlhood is more prevalent than ever, with Barbie-inspired TikTok trends on #girlhood and #girlcore sweeping our ‘For You’ pages. Legally Blonde offers a glimpse into the bonds of friendship, support, and empowerment among women, and it reminds us that it takes a village.

Not everyone comes from a legal background

Aspiring lawyers often feel discouraged if they didn’t do law during A-Levels, university or don’t have lawyers in their family. However, Elle Woods didn’t have an existing law background; she had a degree in fashion merchandising and still got into Harvard Law School! She does so successfully, breaking the glass ceiling.

Her character highlights the importance of bringing unconventional, unique, and non-legal experiences into legal education or employment, and emphasises the importance of transferable skills and distinct knowledge in the legal profession, especially in the final scene where she solves a case using her knowledge about hair perms. Sometimes, what makes you a good lawyer has nothing to do with law. This also goes a long way to improve diversity and inclusivity in the legal profession.

Work hard for what you want

Despite being discouraged by everyone around her, including her own parents, Elle Woods puts all her effort into reaching her goal. She spends endless hours studying to get into Harvard Law School and, once there, works hard to keep up with her peers, ultimately solving the major legal case of her year.

Elle shows us how law students must take themselves seriously but also know when to let their hair down and have fun, demonstrating the need for a healthy work-life balance.

Law students can learn from Elle’s character that training contracts and pupillages don’t come easily, but with enough determination, you can achieve your goals against all odds. Her journey also highlights the importance of meritocracy and having a strong work ethic in the legal profession.

What’s wrong with wearing pink?

Elle is undoubtedly a ‘girly girl’ with her love for pink pedicures, pink convertibles and a cute dog. Similarly to Barbie, she shows us how femininity can define strength. Her character is an example of a woman who achieves success without sacrificing her principles or identity.

We see Elle’s watershed moment when she strides into her first courtroom appearance (wearing pink, of course) and outsmarts a witness to win the trial. Elle is unapologetically herself, demonstrating that authenticity and self-confidence are crucial for success in the legal field.

Believe in yourself

The final lesson that Elle teaches us throughout the whole movie that she reiterates in her graduation speech, is to “always have faith in yourself.” We all know the stresses of law school; never-ending training contract rejection emails can get the best of us. However, when this happens, we must turn to Legally Blonde for motivation and ask ourselves, What would Elle Woods do?

Christianah Babajide is a legal marketing expert. She can be found on LinkedIn and her Instagram handle is @christianahb_.

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