It’s that time of year again. Spring is starting make the weather tolerable again for those of us in the more northern latitudes, and the student bar association is plastering the law building with fliers for this year’s gala, or, as many of us know it, Law Prom. So what’s to justify shelling out for overpriced tickets on a law student budget? Here are five reasons:
1) In vino veritas. There’s a saying in the Talmud, “In three things is a man revealed: in his wine goblet, in his purse, and in his wrath.” Yes, we all know that Law Prom is a shit show, but there’s a lot to be learned about one’s future colleagues here (assuming that you keep yourself sober enough to remember the next day). If you’re lucky, the wine goblet and the wrath are not combined. If you’re not, well, it’s still useful knowledge even if the process of gaining it isn’t fun. If you’re both unlucky and slightly awkward, your attempt to “cut off” a friend who is well past pickled will fail spectacularly. But you’ll secretly admit it was rather amusing when you think back on it. On second thought, this isn’t really arguing in favor of going. Let’s try again.
2) A penny saved. Even law school budgets are not immune from cost-cutting, and it can be interesting to see how your SBA is creatively handling having less money than in previous years. For example, the open bar from previous years could be replaced with a system giving each person a limited number of drink tickets. Or the full bar from prior years could be replaced with a bar limited to beer and a couple of varieties of $10/bottle wine. Or the prior year’s plates of actual hors d’oeuvres and reasonable appetizers may be replaced with a fruit/cheese/veggie buffet table (meat is apparently overrated). Or all of the above. Err, maybe this one isn’t really working in favor of going to Law Prom either. Moving on.
3) Social obligations. OK, so maybe it’s not so much an “obligation” as a “convenient excuse not to study.” But let’s be honest with ourselves: that’s usually enough. There are plenty of other Friday nights you can spend hunched over law books in the library. All the flimsy logic that Law Prom is “a good networking event” is just enough to assuage the classic over-achiever guilt that comes with not studying.
4) It’s all you’ve got. Let’s face it. Even if you’re a 1L you now have nearly a year of law school under your belt and you are surely starting to notice that you’re rapidly losing the ability to interact with anyone outside of law. We both know that the only chance for that anecdote about adverse possession to get any laughs is in a room full of law students.
5) Have to amortize the suit somehow. As long as we’re being honest here, how about admitting that it’s nice to have at least one fun memory that happened while you were wearing your suit. All those unproductive interviews were starting to add up and we all need something to stave off the point where merely putting on our “interview suit” causes self-doubt and depression. Of course, half of us are going to get to that point anyway thanks to reason #1. Oh well.