Eric Hal l'18
Barrister’s 2017 brought back all the best parts of last year’s annual #NerdProm: the photo booth, the square open bar, the nominal theme. In keeping with the evening’s trend of ignoring anything to do with prohibition and the Roaring 20s, law students and their dates mobbed the barrier between them and the alcohol. Like Allied forces defending their trenches, bartenders beat back wave after wave of thirsty, roaring twenty-somethings. Early in the night it was clear that the only thing less observed than the event’s theme was the possession of one of those gold wristbands that meant you’d actually paid for your drinks. Perhaps that’s why the event was so expensive? Those of us who got suckered into buying a drinking ticket subsidized the drinks of all you cheapskates. You’re welcome.
Determined to get our money’s worth elsewhere, we turned to the Arena’s remaining consumables. For most of the night, the line for the photo booth divided the dance floor and caused some startling territoriality from certain flappers attempting to maintain their spot in line. (You know who you are.) Some reported wait times of up to 25 minutes and a complaint was filed in the Court of Petty Appeals against couples who, upon gaining entry to the booth, stayed for four or five sessions. The hors d’oeuvres tables saw similar action. Early in the evening a tong-equipped gentleman attended the table, equitably rationing out his meatballs and pigs-in-blankets. As the swarms grew more demanding, however, he abandoned his post (but not before cranking up the heat on the griddle to, apparently, scald anyone brave enough to reach for a pork slider).
In all, Saturday’s return to the Main Street Arena was a success for the Student Bar Association despite the inexplicable increase in price. Busses were said to run reliably and the unseasonably warm weather averted a repeat of last year’s Coat Check Massacre (#NeverRemember). The white Ikea couches were a welcome place to make-out publicly, or else lovingly devour a plate of 20 meatballs. Many agreed that the music was an improvement over last year’s, in part thanks to the SBA’s thoughtful solicitation of song requests (although it appears all my requested songs from the movie La La Land were denied).
When the clock struck midnight and the ballroom turned, blindingly, back into an ice rink, fluorescent lights caught revelers scavenging tiny hot dogs, grappling for position in the photo booth, and sucking down tiny water bottles (whoever had that idea deserves a medal). Many fled to Rapture where the Law Weekly’s own Ryan Caira made a triumphant return as lead guitarist in the law school band, Jefferson Clerkship. By all accounts, it was the band’s best performance this year.
This year’s Barrister’s weekend saw a rise in alternative outings, especially among 3Ls who found better ways to spend $65. The cost regrettably split up many friend groups, but only temporarily. Many of the same 3Ls ended their nights alongside the ball-goers, belting out that Blink-182 song at the after party. Barrister’s 2017 showed that—in the same way the ball is only nominally about the theme—Barrister’s weekend is only nominally about the ball. It’s about coming together as a law school and making lasting memories.