Perspectives: Barrister’s in Review

Eleanor Schmalzl '20
Executive Editor

 From left to right, Madison McMurray '19, Trina Rizzo '19, Darcy Whalen '19, Kendall Burchard '19, and Hannah Blazek '19. Eric Hall /  Virginia Law Weekly

From left to right, Madison McMurray '19, Trina Rizzo '19, Darcy Whalen '19, Kendall Burchard '19, and Hannah Blazek '19. Eric Hall / Virginia Law Weekly

1L of a Ball

Since August, upperclassmen have raved about the “law school prom” that is Barrister’s Ball. As all 1Ls do, I got ready for the event with my section1 and took all our nice group photos before the chaos of the event2 began. Despite arriving fashionably late,3 the dance floor was empty and the bar lines were short, leaving my friends and me with no other choice than to make fast use of our drinking tickets and take the spotlight in front of the bumping speakers. Time passed quickly as my group and I danced and talked with our fellow classmates, making it hard to believe when the clock struck 12:30 a.m. and it was time to leave. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the night: whether my non-floor length dress would fit the occasion, if I should have awkwardly brought a date in the true spirit of “prom,” or if the event would live up to the $65 I had spent to get through the doors. But what I took from the night was this: the dress doesn’t really matter (and whatever dress you wear will fit the bill for the night), law school prom doesn’t require awkward dates if you have great friends,4 and the event was a steal at the price. This year’s Barrister’s Ball surpassed my expectations and has me counting down for February 2019.



Kim Hopkin '19
Development Editor

The Life of a 2L

As an effeminate woman who enjoys getting glammed up for fancy events, I look forward to Barrister’s Ball with glee each year. For me, Barrister’s started at about 5:00 p.m. when I arrived at my friend’s apartment to do hair, makeup, and dress adjustments before we hit up a pre-game.5  My 1L section has stayed relatively close into 2L year, so the pre-game included section-mates who were not going to the actual event later. Getting to see people that I can only catch up with briefly in the hallways quickly became my favorite part of the night. 

Heading to the actual event brought up the only complaint I have about Barrister’s: transportation. Uber and Lyft surge prices are not my favorite; however, as my rhinestoned four-inch heels will attest, I probably wouldn’t have walked to a free bus anyway. Plus, buses come with their own issues which became fully apparent in the drive from the event to the after-party. 

The event itself was absolutely beautiful.6  I literally couldn’t get inside the door before running into people who I wanted to spend all night talking to. The space was huge, and the music was great in my opinion. The whole event seemed to be over too quickly when my friends pointed out the time as we rushed to see Gunners ‘N’ Roses play at Rampage.7  The bus situation was interesting. Instead of just not letting any more people on the full bus, the drivers welcomed them on the bus pulled over a couple of feet later to kick them off. This was understandably frustrating for everyone involved.8  

Gunners ‘N’ Roses was, as always, a fun time to sing and dance with friends. I definitely noticed that they branched out with new songs, and I really appreciated hearing “Body Like a Backroad”. After another Uber home, I headed to an after-after-party which was the perfect chill way to relax after a fun evening with my friends. 

In an effort to relive this glory next year, I’m officially asking Alison M. and Lauren S. to be my dates again for 3L Barrister’s: you ladies rock.



Jenna Goldman '18
ditor Emeritus

One Last Barrister’s

 Deposed  Virginia Law Weekly  despot Jenna Goldman '18 and her boyfriend Matt. Eric Hall /  Virginia Law Weekly

Deposed Virginia Law Weekly despot Jenna Goldman '18 and her boyfriend Matt. Eric Hall / Virginia Law Weekly

The gilded ballroom of Boar’s Head Inn was a far cry from the damp Barrister’s of old. The only thing that was flooded this year was Instagram, with nostalgic posts by 3Ls lamenting their last Barrister’s Ball.  

After three years of attending the event, and waiting in lines at the bar to break even with the drinking ticket price, it finally occurred to me to get to Barrister’s at 9:30 p.m., when the event actually started. The food was still fresh and I got three drinks before the lines became amorphous and unruly—that’s what I call fashionably on time. 

Speaking of fashion, if 2012 was the year of Red,9  so was 2018. One can often anticipate the year’s popular choice by searching through a few days before the ball to see which dresses are out of stock. The 1Ls chose darker, mid-length dresses, thinking Barrister’s was PILA round two.10  The 2Ls opted for fuller ball gowns, learning from their mistakes11 of 1L year. Not to be outdone, the 3Ls went bold for their final dance, hence the emphasis on red and glitter. Even men partook in the color trend.12  

At about 11:50 p.m. I ventured to say that the event went off without a hitch.13  However, 11:50 p.m. was also about the time I set out looking for a bus to Rapture along with roughly half of those in attendance. There was no bus provided from the law school to Boar’s Head, so I’d be damned if I did not get on a bus at some point during the night.14 

Finally, at about 12:30 a.m., a bus arrived, and I rushed to pile on. In my desperation to GET. ON. A. BUS. I completely missed the announcement that this bus would only be going to the law school. I was sorry to miss Gunners ‘N’ Roses, but I’m sure I will see them in a few weeks when the weather improves and the Bilt patio becomes somewhat tolerable again. 

Overall, Barrister’s 2018 was leaps and bounds better than the two previous in the quality of food, venue, and DJ music selection. Despite the great bus caper, I had a wonderful time and will miss this event and my law school classmates next year!



1 S/O to Section Ayeee

2 Read: unlimited alcohol at the open bar

3 9:32 p.m.

4 Again, S/O to Section A & my Abaybay ladies

5 Luckily, I have very patient friends awho tolerate my ability to make getting ready for an event last hours.

6 Michelle Chang, you are a Queen. A QUEEN.

7 Apparently, after my first sip of beer, I cannot for the life of me remember “Rapture” and call it “Rampage” instead. Feel free to use it in your personal life as well.

8 Re-read FN 2.

9 Taylor Swift, Red, on Red (Big Machine 2012).

10 PILA: A less formal, even sloppier event than Barrister’s.

11 Being out-glammed by the upperclass women. 

12 Were those red, plaid slacks a fashion statement or pajama pants? @Beau Daeu

13 Many might disagree, citing the massive lines at each of the seven bars. To them I say, “you snooze, you lose.”

14 $65 - I repeat - $65.