Date: February 28th, 2006 10:02 AM
From two years ago, so this may have been posted. But...ugh.
Law School Prom Is Really a Ball The New York Sun February 23, 2004 Monday
Copyright 2004 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC
All Rights Reserved
The New York Sun
February 23, 2004 Monday
SECTION: FRONT PAGE; Pg. 1
LENGTH: 828 words
HEADLINE: Law School Prom Is Really a Ball
BYLINE: By JORDANA LEWIS, Special to the Sun
Columbia Law School students take all their classes in one building, keep books in lockers, partake in endless gossip, and even have their own prom - sort of.
Technically, Saturday night's event was Barrister's Ball, but even dance organizers occasionally slip and call it a prom - which may be a perfectly appropriate title for the evening.
The air smelled of sweat and stale taffeta. Walls thundered with the booming bass. A spot in front of the women's bathroom mirror required strong elbows. Couples made out in not-so-dim corners while others fought in the foyer.
But there were also bottles of alcohol, balding heads, and wedding rings. It wasn't quite the high school prom, but it came close.
For some students, Barristers Ball marked their first taste of such revelry. Sylvia Wu, the student body president, didn't attend her high school prom in Ohio because she was "more interested in getting into the Ivy League." Now, she realizes "at a certain point it's time to have fun."
Others hesitated not from guilt, but rather dignity. "It seemed weird dressing up in a tux and going without a date," said Andrew Kreisberg, a 25-year-old stand-up comedian turned aspiring litigator, who bought his ticket Friday. "I didn't want to have that lonely-guy-in-a-bar look."
Most people arrived at Low Library in groups of friends. Qian Gao, a 22-year-old first-year law student, asked along a date because she "didn't want to be drunk alone."
The $25 tickets sold out quickly, leaving students scrambling to scalp ones for themselves, their dates, or their wives. The ticket paid for admission, food, and alcohol.
Megan MacDonald, a 25-year-old aspiring international trade lawyer, and her roommate got manicures and pedicures on Friday."It was really a treat for ourselves, but we used prom as an excuse," she said. Sarah Crowley, a firstyear student from Lexington, Ky., did not pamper herself because, "on the whole, people are going with what they have." Dan Krockmalnic, a first-year student from Newton, Mass., wore a tuxedo he hadn't touched since a Harvard House formal in the spring of 2002.
In contrast, Paulina Salach, an 18-year-old caterer at the event, went "all out" for her St. Francis Prep prom in Queens last spring. "I went for the whole deal - the dress, the bag, the shoes,the hair - you name it,"she said.
Mr. Kreisberg said students were "giddy" about the evening. Women talked so much dress-shop that he learned what "poof skirts and asymmetrical lines meant."
Many students, such as Mr. Krockmalnic, began the evening with friends over dinner. Ms. MacDonald hosted a pre-party in her room. Matt Norwood, hoping to practice intellectual property law to quickly pay off school loans, endured a "horribly awkward" dinner with two couples. His date broke up with him on Thursday.
At the dance, students gyrated to the music, chatted at small tables, and fought for the attention of mixologists manning the open bar. Despite the tuxedos and stilettos, Mr. Krockmalnic said, "My understanding is that this is not a classy night."
Dahlia Rundo, another 18-year-old caterer and graduate of St. Francis Prep, deemed the law students "horrible dancers." Unable to peel her eyes away, she continued, "But if they're enjoying themselves, it's worth it."
Barrister's Ball veterans, such as Columbia Law School graduate Damian Narvaez, back to accompany his firstyear girlfriend, recall students arriving by limousine and wearing corsages. Ms. Wu,a third-year student, has seen women wear couture or cargo pants. She stood out as "the only girl in pants," not to mention a V-neck that dipped to her navel.
Most left post-prom plans open-ended.
"There's no IT after-party, as far as I know. But I'm listening for it," Mr. Krockmalnic said. Jani Leino, an aspiring human rights lawyer who spent most of the night dancing solo, hosted an after-party - putting "booze left over from a party last week" to good use. Mr. Norwood didn't know if he'd be getting lucky because "you just can't plan for that kind of thing."
Nearly all barristers-in-training agree that law school replicates high school in myriad ways. Ms. Crowley said, "There is a definite locker culture of seeing the same people in the same classes in the same building, everyday." Mr.Krockmalnic said that environment "makes circles here very gossipy - for better or worse."
Mr. Norwood claims to be the "First Couple and First Scandal" of the class of 2006. Rather than remain passive about gossip, he has plans to make it a more productive distraction. "The Columbia Law School News is a paper without a purpose. I intend to stage a peaceful coup and turn it into a gossip rag people will actually read."
Flushed from dancing, Ms. MacDonald said the evening exceeded her expectations, although "there would be a lot of talk at school on Monday."
As 30-year-old law students plucked hors d'oeuvres from her plate, Ms. Rundo gave her approval for the prom. "Older people should have nights to remember, too," she said.
LOAD-DATE: February 23, 2004