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. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

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  3. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

  4. Seventh Circuit Court Judge Diane Wood has stated in “The Rule of Law in Times of Stress” (2003), “that neither laws nor the procedures used to create or implement them should be secret; and . . . the laws must not be arbitrary.” According to the American Bar Association, Wood’s quote drives home this point: The rule of law also requires that people can expect predictable results from the legal system; this is what Judge Wood implies when she says that “the laws must not be arbitrary.” Predictable results mean that people who act in the same way can expect the law to treat them in the same way. If similar actions do not produce similar legal outcomes, people cannot use the law to guide their actions, and a “rule of law” does not exist.

  5. Linda, I sure hope you are not seeking a law license, for such eighteenth century sentiments could result in your denial in some jurisdictions minting attorneys for our tolerant and inclusive profession.

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