List of The Paper Chase episodes

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This is a list of episodes for the television series The Paper Chase.

At present, the first two seasons of this show have been released on DVD by Shout! Factory.[1]

Series overview[edit]

Season Episodes Network Premiere Finale DVD
release date
1 22 CBS September 9, 1978 April 24, 1979 April 7, 2009
2 19 Showtime April 15, 1983 August 21, 1984 December 15, 2009
3 12 May 11, 1985 September 10, 1985 N/A
4 6 June 28, 1986 August 9, 1986 N/A


  • = Overall episode number
  • Ep = Episode number by season

Season 1: 1978–79[edit]

Ep Title Directed by: Written by: Original air date
1 1 "The Paper Chase" Joseph Hardy James Bridges September 9, 1978 (1978-09-09)
Pilot: James Hart arrives late to his first class with Professor Kingsfield and, worse, has not read the assigned material. Kingsfield throws an imaginary funeral shroud over Hart, meaning he no longer exists as far as the professor is concerned. Hart has to come up with an imaginative way to extract himself from this predicament.
2 2 "The Man Who Would Be King" Gwen Arner John Jay Osborn, Jr. September 19, 1978 (1978-09-19)
Ford's father visits the law school to interview second-year students for summer internships at his prestigious law firm, accompanied by Ford's sixteen-year-old sister. Ford goes to pieces when his father sits in on the class, while his sister is attracted to Hart.
3 3 "A Day in the Life of..." Philip Leacock John Jay Osborn, Jr. September 26, 1978 (1978-09-26)
When Hart asks Kingsfield a question after class, he is told to find the answer for himself and present it to Kingsfield the next morning. However, Bell's outburst over his misplaced outline gets them both barred from the library. Fortunately, Hart runs into a woman who has unexpected resources.
4 4 "Great Expectations" Harvey S. Laidman Ellison Carroll October 3, 1978 (1978-10-03)
Anderson faces a disciplinary hearing (chaired by Kingsfield) and possible expulsion when he is falsely accused of breaking into the school dispensary after a dorm party. He talks Hart into being his defense counsel. Marshall Colt guest stars as Sam Pray.
5 5 "Voices of Silence" Alex March Stephen Kandel October 10, 1978 (1978-10-10)
As a volunteer in a prison internship help program, Logan helps represent an imprisoned political activist in an upcoming hearing, and gets manipulated by him.
6 6 "Nancy" William Hale T. S. Cook October 17, 1978 (1978-10-17)
While dating a girl who appears to be the perfect match, Hart finds out that she is the daughter of a mob lawyer after her father is brutally murdered.
7 7 "Da Da" Philip Leacock Gordon Hoban October 31, 1978 (1978-10-31)
A student with a photographic memory finds that that is not enough in Kingsfield's class; the professor humiliates him in front of his fellow students when he is unable to analyze what he has memorized. The pressure threatens his marriage and causes him to go on a drinking binge.
8 8 "The Seating Chart" Robert C. Thompson James Bridges November 14, 1978 (1978-11-14)
Bell believes that his unflattering seating chart picture is the reason that he gets singled out in Kingsfield's class, and plots to change it without permission, with Hart's reluctant help.
9 9 "Moot Court" Seymour Robbie John Jay Osborn, Jr. November 21, 1978 (1978-11-21)
Raymond Livingston is a highly-disciplined black student, who is teamed with his complete opposite, Bell, as they go up against Hart and Logan in the final of the school's annual moot court contest.
10 10 "Kingsfield's Daughter" Alex March Gordon Hoban November 28, 1978 (1978-11-28)
Hart falls for a young woman who is surprisingly familiar with contract law and hostile to the law students who study it.
11 11 "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" Larry Elikann John Jay Osborn, Jr.,
Leigh Curran
December 5, 1978 (1978-12-05)
When Logan questions a visiting liberal Justice of the Supreme Court why he has never hired a female law clerk in his 30 years on the bench, she starts a controversy that gets out of hand, as women's rights organizations get involved.
12 12 "Bell and Love" Peter Levin Richard Kramer December 12, 1978 (1978-12-12)
Jenny, Hart's old high school girlfriend, leaves her husband and shows up on his doorstep. He asks Bell to help keep an eye on her when he and his study group are given a challenging assignment by Kingsfield; Bell quickly falls in love with Jenny.
13 13 "An Act of Desperation" Carl Kugel James Menzies,
Marvin Kupfer
December 19, 1978 (1978-12-19)
A struggling Jonathan is so desperate to pass Kingsfield's midterm, he hires someone to steal a copy of the test. He tricks the rest of his study group into believing that it is an old Kingsfield exam, making them unwitting accessories to his cheating.
14 14 "Losing Streak" Alex March Shimon Wincelberg January 19, 1979 (1979-01-19)
Anderson develops a gambling problem which interferes with his studies. His friends help him out, in class and financially, whether he wants it or not.
15 15 "The Man in the Chair" Robert C. Thompson Jerome Ross February 6, 1979 (1979-02-06)
A student in a wheelchair is invited to join Hart's study group. He takes advantage of Bell and Ford, tries to seduce Logan, and competes for a scholarship that Hart is after, even though he does not need the money.
16 16 "A Matter of Anger" Seymour Robbie Albert Aley,
Marvin Kupfer
February 13, 1979 (1979-02-13)
A black woman has an inferiority complex because she was accepted to law school through the Affirmative Action program. At Kingsfield's request, Hart reluctantly becomes the angry woman's tutor. An influential white alumnus, his son having been rejected despite having better grades than the woman, does his best to change the government's stance on Affirmative Action.
17 17 "The Apprentice" Kenneth Gilbert William Hopkins February 20, 1979 (1979-02-20)
Kingsfield hires Hart to help his assistant on an important appellate case, an unprecedented distinction for a first year student. The assistant, much sought after and soon to graduate, dumps most of the work on Hart so he can go to job interviews. When Kingsfield finds out, he fires the assistant, leaving Hart to carry the burden alone.
18 18 "Once More with Feeling" Marvin Kupfer William Froug February 27, 1979 (1979-02-27)
When Logan spurns a respected law professor who makes improper advances toward her, she is surprised to see the result is a low grade. However, Kingsfield, head of the disciplinary committee, dismisses her complaint because she has no proof.
19 19 "The Clay Footed Idol" Larry Elikann David P. Harmon March 20, 1979 (1979-03-20)
Kingsfield has his students form groups to argue both sides of a case of their choice. When Hart's study group selects a case that the professor lost early in his career, they start to question his ethics after they learn that he did not file what appears to them to be a routine appeal. Even Hart has his doubts after a now-prominent attorney who assisted Kingsfield on the case refuses to shed light on the matter.
20 20 "The Tables Down at Ernie's" Philip Leacock Worley Thorne March 27, 1979 (1979-03-27)
It looks like Ernie's Tavern is headed for demolition to make way for a university parking lot, unless Hart can find a way to legally stop it. When he goes to Kingsfield for advice, he discovers that his professor is the counsel for the university.
21 21 "A Case of Détente" Robert C. Thompson David P. Harmon,
Daniel Benton
April 17, 1979 (1979-04-17)
Hart falls in love with a Russian gymnast whose team is touring the United States. When it is discovered that she snuck out to spend time with Hart in his dorm room, he is suspended from classes for a month and she is kicked off the team. A law professor who is teaching Hart's class in Kingsfield's absence tries to address this sticky situation.
22 22 "Scavenger Hunt" Jack Bender John Jay Osborn, Jr. April 24, 1979 (1979-04-24)
Kingsfield's annual scavenger hunt is much tougher than usual in recognition of the superior quality of this year's batch of students. They have only three days to answer at least 75 of 100 fiendishly difficult legal questions in order to pass. It soon becomes clear that this is an impossible task, as competing groups sabotage each other's efforts, hiding or keeping needed reference texts. The dean and the rest of the faculty try to get Kingsfield to cancel the hunt, as it is disrupting the entire university. Hart figures out Kingsfield's hidden agenda and how to pass the test.


Season 2: 1983–84[edit]

Ep Title Directed by: Written by: Original air date
23 1 "Outline Fever" Jack Bender John Jay Osborn, Jr. April 15, 1983 (1983-04-15)
Ford and Hart get an off-campus apartment. Bell auctions off Hart's outline for contract law, exploiting the fact that Hart was the only one to get an A in Kingsfield's class. Hart starts a serious relationship with first-year student Connie Lehman, but begins to wonder if she too is after his outline.
24 2 "Birthday Party" Jack Bender John Jay Osborn, Jr. May 24, 1983 (1983-05-24)
Kingsfield's friend and former student, now the Attorney General of the United States, asks him if he would accept a nomination to the Supreme Court. Hart decides to celebrate Kingsfield's eightieth birthday, even though it is known that the professor disapproves of such festivities.
25 3 "Spreading It Thin" Corey Allen Lee Kalcheim June 26, 1983 (1983-06-26)
Hart has a feeling that a popular law professor has plagiarized an article for the Law Review and tries to prove it, to the detriment of his schoolwork. Lehman suspects he is just jealous because she greatly admires the professor.
26 4 "Cinderella" Joseph Pevney David Sontag July 15, 1983 (1983-07-15)
One of the law students, a single mother, struggles to cope when her day care provider is shut down.
27 5 "Commitments" Nick Havinga Joe S. Landon September 15, 1983 (1983-09-15)
Hart's relationship with Lehman is strained to the breaking point when she devotes all her time to an extra assignment from Kingsfield. Bell, as dorm adviser, ignores the pleas for help from a first year student (David Caruso).
28 6 "Plague of Locusts" Joseph Pevney John Jay Osborn, Jr. October 26, 1983 (1983-10-26)
Recruiters descend on the campus, much to Kingsfield's irritation, offering summer employment to promising students. Hart, at the top of his class, is inundated with offers, particularly from two very different law firms. Ford has his own tough decision to make when he learns that his father is breaking the school's recruiting rules. Bell despairs of landing a job.
29 7 "Snow" Jack Bender John Jay Osborn, Jr. November 22, 1983 (1983-11-22)
Kingsfield gets Gerald Golden to assist him on an important brief. When Golden becomes seriously ill, Shaw takes over his Law Review duties, while Hart takes on the brief. Determined to make his mark, Shaw insists Hart use a brand new computer terminal. When he loses all his work to a power outage the night before it is needed, Hart's friends take him in search of an expert "wonk" to retrieve the document.
30 8 "Mrs. Hart" Corey Allen John Jay Osborn, Jr. May 22, 1984 (1984-05-22)
Hart asks Connie to marry him. However, when she is offered a prestigious Rhodes Scholarship to study in England, she has to make an agonizing choice. After Bell refuses to allow a weekend dorm party, a resourceful student takes revenge with a series of pranks.
31 9 "Tempest in a Pothole" Mark Cullingham Peter Dixon May 29, 1984 (1984-05-29)
Bell falls from his bicycle and breaks his arm when he runs over a pothole. With his friends egging him on, he reluctantly sues the city. In his desperation, he has to subpoena Professor Kingsfield, the only witness. Meanwhile, Mrs. Nottingham, Kingsfield's secretary, feels unappreciated for her more than 30 years of service and accepts a promotion to the dean's office.
32 10 "Labor of Love" Jack Bender Paul Eric Myers,
Judy Merl
June 5, 1984 (1984-06-05)
It is spring, and love is in the air. Hart drags workaholic Golden away to Ernie's Tavern for a drink, where they meet two women on break from another university. Golden is particularly smitten, but has to decide whether his top priority is romance or his career. Meanwhile, Ford likes Hart's new acquaintance as much as he does. Bell has to set up a lonely student with a date so the rest of the dorm can get some rest.
33 11 "Burden of Proof" Corey Allen Paul L. Ehrmann June 12, 1984 (1984-06-12)
As an intern for the overworked public defender (Gregory Sierra), Hart is assigned to defend the man who mugged Professor Kingsfield.
34 12 "War of the Wonks"
Arthur Allan Seidelman John Jay Osborn, Jr. June 19, 1984 (1984-06-19)
A minor quarrel between Golden and an engineering student over a parking space fans simmering hostilities between the law and engineering students. Golden's car is disassembled and rebuilt in the Law Review basement office. After top students Rita Harriman and Hart are both defeated in a law contest by a revolutionary computer program designed by a Nobel Prize winner, Professor Kingsfield becomes interested and enters the fray.
35 13 "Limits" Jack Bender Robert Lewin June 26, 1984 (1984-06-26)
Ford tries to stop classmates who want to petition for the replacement of a longtime professor they suspect of becoming senile. Ford has his own painful memories of his aging grandfather being dropped from the family law firm by his father. Hart tries to develop a better relationship with his ultra-competitive (and beautiful) Law Review rival, Harriman.
36 14 "Hart Goes Home" Jack Bender Joe S. Landon July 10, 1984 (1984-07-10)
Hart goes home for his younger sister's wedding after handing in his research for Kingsfield's amicus brief for the United States Supreme Court. However, a new court decision makes a major rewrite necessary. It is assigned to Harriman in Hart's absence. She is forced to consult with Hart on the phone for hours, straining his relations with his sister and his best friend.
37 15 "Judgment Day"
Nick Havinga Paul L. Ehrmann,
Marshall Goldberg
July 17, 1984 (1984-07-17)
An associate law professor is a brilliant teacher, but his scholarly publications are scanty, endangering his bid for tenure. Golden steps in to assist him in writing an article for the Law Review, but Hart questions if Golden is doing too much. Kiernan nurses a sick Bell over the objections of her study group, who avoid her in the days leading up to a major exam out of fear of catching the illness.
38 16 "My Dinner with Kingsfield" Corey Allen Lee Kalcheim July 24, 1984 (1984-07-24)
When Kingsfield's car gets stuck in front of Hart's apartment during a major snowstorm, Hart has an unexpected dinner guest.
39 17 "The Advocates" Jack Bender Jack Bender August 7, 1984 (1984-08-07)
Professors Kingsfield and Reese clash over funding for the latter's unconventional course, which teaches courtroom tactics and presentation using video taping. When Hart and his nemesis Harriman are chosen as two of the finalists to represent their school in a national moot court contest, Kiernan advises him that he is too stiff. Hart enrolls in Reese's class, only to find Harriman there as well. Bell takes bets on the outcome. Reese helps Vivian Conway overcome her trouble expressing herself in Kingsfield's class to demonstrate the utility of his course.
40 18 "Not Prince Hamlet"
Lynn Roth Lee Kalcheim August 14, 1984 (1984-08-14)
When Marshall Weatherly takes his own life after flunking Kingsfield's test, his grieving lawyer father seeks out Marshall's friends to figure out why. He learns that his white son was seriously involved with the African-American Conway, but was afraid to tell him. He also speaks with Kiernan, Bell, and Hart, the last people to see his son, trying to decipher Marshall's cryptic suicide message, "Not Prince Hamlet". Finally, Kingsfield recognizes the quotation. Each person the father interviews has a different viewpoint of the same scene, revisited over and over again in flashbacks (a technique notably used in the film Rashomon).
41 19 "Billy Pierce" Corey Allen Max Eisenberg August 21, 1984 (1984-08-21)
Nervous first-year students prepare for Kingsfield's exam, among them Billy Pierce (Lynn Swann), a struggling, famous ex-football player. A thief makes off with a copy of the test undetected the night before. Bell tutors Kiernan on the wrong subjects, with disastrous results. She gets a D, while others, including Pierce, get suspiciously high marks. When the theft is discovered, Bell investigates, but is unable to solve the mystery, so a disappointed Kingsfield has no choice but to discard the grades, much to Kiernan's relief.

[2] [3]

Season 3: 1985[edit]

Ep Title Directed by: Written by: Original air date
42 1 "Decisions: Part 1" Ralph Senensky John Jay Osborn, Jr. May 11, 1985 (1985-05-11)
Golden chooses his successor as president of Law Review. Frank's younger brother decides where he will go to law school. The former head of the SEC must ask herself if she wants to pursue a career as a professor at the university.
43 2 "Decisions: Part 2" Ralph Senensky John Jay Osborn, Jr. May 11, 1985 (1985-05-11)
Hart, as the new president of Law Review, oversees the publication of his first review, which proves to be a struggle. The work pays off when Kingsfield expresses his pleasure with his effort. Meanwhile, Ford tries to adjust to the idea that his younger brother is now attending the same law school.
44 3 "Pressure" Alf Kjellin Irving Pearlberg June 29, 1985 (1985-06-29)
Ford defends a student who punched out a professor, as he goes before the university's disciplinary committee.
45 4 "Laura's Struggle" Sharron Miller Joe S. Landon July 6, 1985 (1985-07-06)
In order to cope with the increasing pressure of law school, Laura begins taking pills, only to become dependent on them. She finally admits that she has a problem and asks others for help.
46 5 "Security" Ernest A. Losso Marshall Goldberg July 13, 1985 (1985-07-13)
Hart and Professor Kingsfield assist in a battle over Medicare benefits.
47 6 "Free Advice" Gilbert Moses Marley Sims,
Stephen Schneck
July 20, 1985 (1985-07-20)
Ford's younger brother, new to law school, gives some legal advice to an auto mechanic and gets himself in big trouble.
48 7 "The Day Kingsfield Missed Class" Ralph Senensky Bruce Franklin Singer,
Max Eisenberg
July 27, 1985 (1985-07-27)
Kingsfield stays away from campus for an entire day to teach his students to cope with problems in his absence. He also wants to teach them an important lesson regarding different ways of fulfilling a contract.
49 8 "The Source" Georg Stanford Brown Paul L. Ehrmann August 10, 1985 (1985-08-10)
A former law student comes forward with information about a sitting justice, accusing him of voting a certain way in return for his appointment.
50 9 "The Choice" Ralph Senensky Paul Eric Myers,
Judy Merl
August 17, 1985 (1985-08-17)
Ford discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant and that he may get no say in the choice she will make regarding the baby.
51 10 "It's Only a Show" Lynn Roth Lee Kalcheim August 24, 1985 (1985-08-24)
Bell coordinates performances by various law students, only Bell's own skit is an unflattering impersonation of Professor Kingsfield.
52 11 "The Big D" Ralph Senensky Susan Miller Lazar September 3, 1985 (1985-09-03)
Rose's husband files for a divorce. The law students band together to assist her in representing herself in the proceedings.
53 12 "Lasting Impressions" John Herzfeld Mann Rubin September 10, 1985 (1985-09-10)
Golden defends an antisemitic client in a libel suit; a popular janitor is anxious for his retirement, but later changes his mind and decides he greatly misses the students and faculty of the university.

[2] [3]

Season 4: 1986[edit]

Ep Title Directed by: Written by: Original air date
54 1 "A Wounded Hart" Ralph Senensky Eric Cohen June 28, 1986 (1986-06-28)
Hart has a fling with Harriman but he becomes agitated when he discovers that the encounter meant more to him than it did to her.
55 2 "Mistaken Identity" James Stephens Stephen Schneck July 5, 1986 (1986-07-05)
Ford is falsely arrested and spends three days in jail before finally being released. The experience makes him question whether he wants to be a lawyer and part of what he sees as an unjust system.
56 3 "Honor" John Herzfeld John Jay Osborn, Jr. July 12, 1986 (1986-07-12)
Ziess is so upset over not graduating with honors that he goes and files a lawsuit against the law school over its grading procedures.
57 4 "Suppressed Desires" Lynn Roth Lynne Kelsey July 19, 1986 (1986-07-19)
Laura is having second thoughts about becoming a lawyer. An art contest reawakens her interest in that area. The law students have a "suppressed desires" party where everyone dresses up in a costume depicting what they really wanted to be in life.
58 5 "Graduation: Part 1" Ralph Senensky Joe S. Landon August 9, 1986 (1986-08-09)
Hart faces graduation and the future looms largely before all of the graduates as they ponder what lies past the walls of law school. To be continued...
59 6 "Graduation: Part 2" Ralph Senensky Joe S. Landon August 9, 1986 (1986-08-09)
See Part 1, above.

[2] [3]


  1. ^ DVD release info at
  2. ^ a b c d List of The Paper Chase episodes at
  3. ^ a b c List of The Paper Chase episodes at the Internet Movie Database