Jerry O'Connell Isn't a Lawyer Yet, But He'll Play One on TV

05/20/2010 at 08:55 AM EDT

Jerry O'Connell Isn't a Lawyer Yet, But He'll Play One on TV
Jerry O'Connell
Stephen Lovekin/Getty
Jerry O'Connell's recent studies at law school will come in handy sooner than expected, as he's signed on to play a lawyer in a new comic drama series on CBS.

O'Connell, 36, began taking night classes at Southwestern Law School in L.A. last August. This fall, he and Jim Belushi will portray two colorful Las Vegas defense attorneys in The Defenders.

"The script is great. The characters are a lot of fun," O'Connell says in a preview clip at "But really I wanted to work with Mr. Belushi. Comedy comes easy to him, but he is a dramatic actor."

Belushi, 55, returns the compliment. "I love Jerry," he says. "He's a very well-trained actor and comic actor. He's got a great sense of humor. And he's a handsome son of a gun!"

It's a good thing O'Connell, the father of 16-month-old twin girls with Rebecca Romijn, hasn't taken the oath of attorney yet. On the show, he and Belushi won't always do things by the book.

"They play by the rules," he says, "but maybe they pass on the shoulder a little bit – make an illegal U-turn now and then."

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