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Reese Witherspoon is a senior at CULA which is a large college in southern California. She belongs to a sorority and everyone's excited because they are sure her boyfriend is about to propose to her. When she is out to dinner, her boyfriend tells her that hes been thinking about their relationship and has decided that even though he loves her, they have to break up. Hes going to Harvard Law school and eventually plans to run for political office and he feels that Witherspoon would be a hindrance.
She's devastated and goes back to her sorority where she locks herself in her room for a week. Eventually two of her friends take her to the beauty parlor in order to cheer her up. While her friends are being worked on, she sees a magazine with a picture of her ex-boyfriends brother with his fiancee.
She decides that the way to get her boyfriend back is to go to Harvard Law School.
She applies and actually studies hard for the law school entrance exam and does very well. She sends Harvard a video essay on herself in which we see her in several tight fitting dresses and bikinis
The people on the admittance committee are very impressed by her assets and decide to admit her.
Next we see her arriving at Harvard. She is a fish completely out of water and everyone of the entering class has credentials so much beyond her that they are all amazed that she is even there.
In the first five minutes of her first class, she gets tossed out because she didn't realize that they had a lesson to prepare. The instructor of the class asks one of the other students named Vivian whether or not Reese should be tossed out and Vivian says yes.
Reese leaves the class and goes out to the courtyard where she talks to an older student and he clues her into some of the things she should expect from the instructors.
Her ex boyfriend shows up and she's thrilled to see him. Then Vivian shows up... Turns out that her ex boyfriend is engaged to Vivian.
Vivian and Reese are enemies and Vivian tries to insult and play tricks on Witherspoon such as telling Reese about a party and tells her its a costume party even though its not. Witherspoon goes to the party as a playboy bunny. This trick and the way her boyfriend reacts to her at the party makes her decide to really start working at law school.
In one of her classes, the instructor is very impressed with her abilities and asks her to help out with a murder trial.
The murder trial involves a younger woman who supposedly murdered her husband. It turns out that the murder suspect belonged to the same sorority as Reese and she just cant believe shes guilty.
The supposed murderess, has a large exercise equipment and video business that Reese frequently used.
Reese talks with the suspect and discovers that she has an alibi for the time of the murder but the suspect does not want it used. The murder suspect was getting liposuction at the time of the murder and thinks this will ruin her weight loss business.
Reese tells her instructor that she cannot divulge the alibi. This impresses Vivian and she and Reese become friends.
The prosecution claims that the couples pool man has been having an affair with the suspect. During a break in the trial, The pool man makes a comment about Reese's shoes, and she realizes that he is gay.
The older law student that helped Reese on her first day of class is also on the defense team of lawyers. He uses this information to trick the pool man into revealing he is gay and couldn't have had an affair with the wife.
Everyone is very impressed with Reese's intuition.
That evening after the days trial has ended, her instructor (The head lawyer) asks Reese into his office and tells her how very impressed he is with her abilities and wonders if she would be interested in an intern program with his law firm. She's very thrilled by the offer until he makes it clear what she will have to do to get the position.
Reese is disgusted that he came on to her just because shes pretty and decides to quit Law School and go back to California.
We next see her in a beauty parlor in the Harvard area talking to a beautician she befriended earlier. Shes telling her why she decided to leave and unknown to Reese, the woman teacher who threw her out of class overhears.
The teacher tells witherspoon that she thinks she has more talent than shes given credit for and shouldn't let this stop her from pursuing law.
Witherspoon tells the older law student what happened and he talks to the murder suspect and she decides to fire her lawyer and hire Reese.
In court the next day, the murder suspect tells the lawyer that he is fired and Reese enters the courtroom in a bright pink outfit. She takes over the case and starts to question the victims daughter.
The daughter claims that she had come home, got into the shower and when she got out, she went downstairs and found the wife standing over the husbands body and she was covered in blood. Reese asks her what she had done earlier in the day. She claims she had gone out and gotten a perm. Reese starts questioning the daughter about how many perms she has had and then asks her what happens to a perm if it gets wet within 24 hours. Any fashion conscious lawyer knows that a perm has to remain dry for 24 hours. The daughter becomes flustered and admits to the shooting, saying that she thought she was shooting the young wife and didnt realize it was her father. She was angry that the wife was her age.
The case is dismissed and Reese is the heroine.
Two years later, we are at the Harvard Law School graduation. The woman who threw Reese out is talking to the graduating students. She introduces Reese who is going to give the commencement speech. Its about not judging people (like everyone did her).
The movie ends with everyone cheering and throwing their hats in the air.
We then see just before the credits what happens to some of the main characters....
Vivian and Reese are good friends. Her ex-boyfriend graduates without honors and no job. The older law student and Reese have been dating for two years and hes going to propose that night.
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