Drinking Advice from Indiana Law

Do you know how to drink responsibly? I hope so. By the time you get to law school, I really hope that you at least know how to avoid criminal behavior when drunk. Law school administrators do too. At the Indiana University Mauer School of Law, the Dean of Students decided to send 1Ls preparing for a bar crawl a little reminder. Here’s how one 1L described the email:

I am a 1L at Indiana University Maurer School of Law and I feel like we have an unusual predicament. Tonight, (4/2), the 1Ls organized a bar crawl with shirts for members of the class to go out and have a good time at the time we felt was our last opportunity before the big exam grind. The administration has apparently heard about our bar crawl, and is not too pleased. We got an email today (1 hour before the bar crawl) from the Dean of Student Affairs

We’re talking about a bar crawl in Bloomington, Indiana. I know that there isn’t a lot to do in the Midwest — aside from getting outrageously drunk and maybe tipping a cow — but we are talking about adults here. IU thinks they are qualified to get themselves into six figures of debt, surely they can be trusted to go out for a night on the town without hurting themselves.

The advice from the Dean of Students reminds me of what your mother would say before you go out to the state fair …

Here’s the email from the Dean of Students:

I applaud the idea of having fun, especially with classmates. However, given this time of the year and the amount of time I have been spending recently with students who have been arrested for alcohol related incidents and resultant “character and fitness” problems, let me remind you to use good judgment regarding your drinking skills or lack thereof.

You all know the professional expectations you have in regard to the school, the profession, and your real “Bar” goal. I also should mention that those of you with scholarships will lose them if you get into any disciplinary problems. See me about academic advising, personal counseling, general informational questions, but do not put yourself in the position of having to see me about a drunk driving, drunk walking, or other related alcohol incidents.

So, have a good time and a good week-end, remembering the rule of Fromm, i.e. drink a full glass of water between the two or three beers you will have.

A few points:

* Two or three beers? That’s an appropriate limit for NASCAR drivers, but not crawling, pedestrian law students.

* If you need a glass of water between two or three beers you are kind of a loser. We’re not talking about celery eating waifs from West Hollywood. Corn-fed, salt of the earth, Hoosiers should be able to hold three beers without needing a water break.

* … or needing a ride to the sheriff’s office. Dear God, if you are the kind of person that gets arrested after drinking two or three beers, you’re the kind of person that can find a way to get arrested while stone cold sober.

* Stop trying to mommy law school students. It’s going to be tough enough for them after they graduate and have to move back in with their parents because they can’t find a job. Let them have these three years of freedom.

Our IU tipster was not impressed with the email:

Is this really a necessary email to send? I like to think that if I was capable of being accepted to law school, I am capable of controlling my behavior while I am out drinking. Not only that, but just because we are going out in an organized manner doesn’t mean we are automatically going to be drinking like a Republican National Convention. I appreciate the administration’s concerns with people passing the bar, especially considering the current job market, but what I think really put me off about this email is the threatening tone that it takes. Is the administration overstepping their bounds here?

Treating adults like adults > treating students like children.

Earlier: Law Schools Rearrange Deck Chairs

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