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. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  3. This is happening so much. Even in 2016.2017. I hope the father sue for civil rights violation. I hope he sue as more are doing and even without a lawyer as pro-se, he got a good one here. God bless him.

  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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