Bacon's Law

Bacon's Law

Six Degrees of Separation, a game that suggests any two people in the world are six or less connections apart, was popularized when played as Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, or Bacon’s Law. In fact, you can search an actor's Bacon number in Google's search engine. 

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) currently lists 95 acting credits for Bacon. His roles have cast him alongside the who’s who of Hollywood throughout his storied career – and, if considering Bacon’s Law – connections to U of T Law alumni and students as well. Here, we play the game: 

The Albert Cohen Memorial Award

Alexandre Cohen (LLB 2000) established the Albert Cohen Memorial Award in 2017 to support a full-time student who is the first in their family to attend law school.

"With financial means being such a big determining factor in who gets access to a legal education, I wanted to do my part to help level the playing field, even if just for one person in a small way," says Cohen. 

"The most rewarding part is that I get to do it by also honoring my father who was the person who helped and encouraged me to follow my passions." 

Recipient Onik Deb, 3L says they're extremely grateful for the financial support provided by the Faculty and donors.

"Their generous contribution to my education has relieved the financial burden of learning law and has allowed me to further engage with the law school community." 

Today, Cohen is a partner at CAVU Venture Partners, a venture capital firm based in Santa Monica, CA.

"Although I don’t really practice law anymore I do use the skills I learned in law school every day. What I find most professionally rewarding is being able to help others solve problems and finding creative solutions to complex issues." 

Cohen has represented NBA superstar LeBron James. James appeared in the 2015 film Trainwreck. In the film, Matthew Broderick also appeared as himself. Broderick had an uncredited role in She's Having a Baby (1988) staring Bacon.


The Class of 1992 Award

Jonathan Anschell (JD 1992) is the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Mattel, Inc. He was previously Executive Vice President and General Counsel for ViacomCBS Media Networks. 

"The most rewarding aspect of my work as a lawyer is the opportunity for problem-solving — helping colleagues on the creative or business sides of the industry realize their visions for products or entertainment content while navigating through potential legal or regulatory challenges."

Since 2017, Anschell has led the Class of 1992 endowment for financial aid.

“Those of us who graduated in the Class of 1992 received a great legal education at an affordable cost. Since then, the tuition has risen to enable the law school to continue to attract and retain top-notch faculty. Alumni giving can help ease the financial burden on students and keep an excellent education accessible and affordable." 

“As recipient of the Class of 1992 Award, I am inspired by the generosity of the U of T alumni community," says Vernon Lin, 3L.

"The past three years of law school have been enriching, humbling, and rewarding in equal measure. I cannot wait to join the ranks of U of T alumni who are making an impact on their respective communities daily. I also would like to express my sincerest gratitude towards the Class of 1992 alumni for making my studies at U of T this past year possible, and to all the alumni who continue to give back to this special community — thank you." 

CBS star Allison Janney appeared in 2019's Bombshell and with actor John Lithgow. Both Lithgow and Bacon stared in the 1984 hit, Footloose.


Gregory House Bursary

Established in 2021 by David Shore (LLB 1982), the Gregory House Bursary – named after the fictional doctor made famous by Hugh Laurie in series, House – will continue to support exceptional students in financial need.

Shore is known as the writer and producer of primetime television hits including The Good Doctor. But at U of T Law he is best known as a founding member of the Faculty’s annual comedy sketch-show, Law Follies.

"A lesson I learned is: Whoever is in front of the camera gets all the credit. Lorne Cameron was the driving force behind the Follies, I was basically just the MC – and, as I recall, did a pretty mediocre job – but I keep getting the accolades,” said Shore, who noted his thanks for the recognition.

The first Gregory House bursary will be awarded to a student admitted to JD program this September.

“I owe my success to that character – and because naming things after myself seems like something my children should do after I'm gone and I don't want to get ahead of things," he said, adding, "As with most of my crucial life decisions, I couldn't think of a good reason to say no." 

The Good Doctor series lead Freddie Highmore was a young boy when he appeared alongside Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet in Finding Neverland (2004). Winslet's breakout role in Titanic (1997) also cast Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett. Paxton and Bacon were co-stars in Apollo 13 (1995).