Actor heads to law school

August 17, 2009
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I’ve heard of actors going back to school to get their undergraduate degree but I can’t recall one pursuing a law degree. Now there’s Jerry O’Connell, perhaps most famous for “Stand by Me,” “Sliders,” or being Rebecca Romijn’s husband, who announced last week he’s enrolled at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and signed up for one course so far.

According to news reports, O’Connell decided to go back to school because his wife will be working again and he’ll be at home all day with his daughters. He figured he’d take some night classes and law school was a better option than playing video games all night.

Who knows if he’ll actually complete his degree, pass the bar, and become an attorney, but he does take the “working actor going back to school” thing a step further. I’ve heard of actors taking time off to pursue their undergraduate degrees in psychology or literature and some have even attended Ivy League schools. But law school? That’s a new one to me.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of having Jerry O’Connell in your law class or courtroom.

- He’s a famous actor! Here’s your chance to get to know one and perhaps befriend him. Maybe you’ll get invited to study groups at his house and other celebrities will stop by!

- Perhaps he can give some real world experience about contracts and entertainment law.

- His acting skills could come quite in handy while making arguments.

The drawbacks:

- He’s a famous actor! That could be pretty distracting to some people who only want to know what Mariah Carey was like to work with or how was it filming “Stand by Me.”

- Will other attorneys, judges, and juries take him seriously?

- You know he has enough money to pay for his tuition and won’t have to even use his law degree. That could cause resentment and feelings of ill-will toward him.

What would you do if you showed up to law school and someone famous was in your class? Would you try to befriend that person or leave him or her alone?
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  1. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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  3. Don't believe me, listen to Pacino: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6bC9w9cH-M

  4. Law school is social control the goal to produce a social product. As such it began after the Revolution and has nearly ruined us to this day: "“Scarcely any political question arises in the United States which is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their daily controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings. As most public men [i.e., politicians] are, or have been, legal practitioners, they introduce the customs and technicalities of their profession into the management of public affairs. The jury extends this habitude to all classes. The language of the law thus becomes, in some measure, a vulgar tongue; the spirit of the law, which is produced in the schools and courts of justice, gradually penetrates beyond their walls into the bosom of society, where it descends to the lowest classes, so that at last the whole people contract the habits and the tastes of the judicial magistrate.” ? Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

  5. Attorney? Really? Or is it former attorney? Status with the Ind St Ct? Status with federal court, with SCOTUS? This is a legal newspaper, or should I look elsewhere?

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