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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Law school cameos

In Martin Scorsese's new film, "The Departed" -- reviewed here on Slate --  Martin Sheen plays police captain Oliver Queenan.  At one point, he shows Leonardo DiCaprio's character a photograph of his son and informs him that he is at Notre Dame.  Later in the film, another character asks Queenan, "where's your boy?" and Sheen replies, "he's studying law at Notre Dame."  (Sheen, of course, has a thing for Notre Dame.  "President Jed Bartlet" was a graduate and a fan.)

It strikes me that law-school cameos are much less common in film than college or university ones.  (Harvard Law School's role in "Legally Blonde" counts as more than a cameo, right?).  My question is, what will a mention in a cool Scrosese movie do for Notre Dame's applicant numbers?

Posted by Rick Garnett on October 10, 2006 at 08:33 AM in Life of Law Schools | Permalink

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Comments

are you people seriously debating what effect suffolk law's mention in the departed will have? fools.

Posted by: lenny | Oct 13, 2006 12:48:44 AM

"Daniels" of "The Wire" atteneded law school ... someone (McNulty?) says something like "he's got a law degree - its from U Baltimore, but it's a degree"

I'm paraphrasing.

Posted by: c | Oct 10, 2006 7:27:19 PM

I think Andrew's comment is right on -- the more interesting question is the effect of the Matt Damon character's reference on Suffolk. Notre Dame is Notre Dame, and the law school's applicant numbers are far more affected by whether Brady Quinn gets the football team to a BCS bowl than whether the school gets a mention in passing in a (quite excellent - saw it last weekend) movie. But Suffolk, lacking a football team entirely, is a school that, outside of Boston, rarely gets much popular attention.

I'm inclined to think that Matt Damon's character's connection to Suffolk might actually be a positive thing. Not just because any publicity is good publicity in the law business. We used to joke in school that law firms wouldn't be happy if one failed the bar, but a failure on the MPRE (the ethics exam) was actually a good thing. Maybe not, but isn't it fair to say that BIGLAW wouldn't be terribly upset if would be junior lawyers "barely" pass the ethics exam? I found Damon's character would be the far more effective lawyer than what I imagine Sheen's sone to be like!

Posted by: geoff | Oct 10, 2006 7:09:41 PM

The William Hurt character in Body Heat went to Florida State. That was in the early 1980's before the school moved in its scholarly direction.

Posted by: Shubha Ghosh | Oct 10, 2006 6:29:46 PM

A more interesting question is whether Suffolk's reputation will suffer after being associated with Matt Damon's slimy character in the movie. There's just a passing reference to Sheen's son attending Notre Dame. But Damon's totally amoral character makes much of the fact that he is attending night school at Suffolk.

Posted by: Andrew | Oct 10, 2006 4:34:43 PM

Elle also raises her LSAT about 35 points, I wonder what that does for future applicants.

Posted by: S86 | Oct 10, 2006 3:55:51 PM

Did it mention whether or not he was in the habit of coming to class prepared to contribute to the learning process?

Posted by: c | Oct 10, 2006 10:39:29 AM

Did the movie mention what sort of job the son expected to get after graduation?

Posted by: Matt | Oct 10, 2006 10:33:19 AM

Rick -- Don't forget that Yale makes a cameo in Legally Blonde, as well (it's where Warner's fiancee goes to law school...).

:-)

Posted by: Steve Vladeck | Oct 10, 2006 10:24:36 AM

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