I bet William and Mary Law students are still allowed to party in Colonial Williamsburg.

It’s been a while since we had a story about an entire law school student body getting banned forever from a party venue. I think maybe the last school law to have this public shame was Tulane? I know things got pretty crazy at the UC Davis Law “prom” last year, but they didn’t get banned from anywhere.

But apparently neither of these schools has anything on the law students at William and Mary. According to the school’s Student Bar Association, the conduct of the students has been so disorderly that they’re running out of places in Williamsburg willing to host law school events.

Man, I guess you can see why a lady like Laura Flippin (she of the alleged .253 BAC) is on the William and Mary Board of Visitors….

The problems for William and Mary happened at this year’s “Fall From Grace” event, which took place on October 22nd at the Crowne Plaza Williamsburg at Fort Magruder.

Now… I don’t know about you, but if I go to something called “Fall From Grace,” I’m going to get hammered, and I don’t care how sound Susan Moon’s advice is.

The people at the Crowne Plaza should have expected some shenanigans — but perhaps things did get a little out of hand. From the William and Mary SBA (complete email reprinted below):

Fellow Students:…

While most students responsibly enjoyed the evening’s festivities, the behavior of some of our classmates at Saturday evening’s event was unacceptable. Among other things, students were discovered by hotel staff urinating on the bathroom floor, breaking a toilet paper dispenser, knocking over a flower pot, and engaging in inappropriate behavior in the hotel hallways and bathrooms. To the chagrin of hotel staff, many students arrived at the event severely intoxicated. Some students were sent home by SBA Board members and hotel security for their reprehensible conduct.

To the windows, to the wall. Till the sweat drips down my….

Oh, we’re back? Sorry, it just sounded like the W&M crowd had a fun party. And it’s not that surprising, right? During a recession, when people realize they have a bunch of student loans and few employment prospects, some of them are going to resort to a bottle. The bottle. All the mutherf***ing bottles.

Still, in all seriousness, you know you’ve gone too far when the hotel doesn’t even want you back for repeat business:

On Monday morning, the Crowne Plaza called Dean Douglas to inform him that the law school is no longer welcome at the hotel. This is the third time over the past few years that the law school has been banned from a local facility and the second time in less than seven months.

The SBA Board is disappointed and embarrassed that these events occurred. We know many of you feel similarly. The actions of even a few law students reflects poorly on the Dean, the law school, and the College as a whole. Over the past few years, the greater Williamsburg community has developed a generally negative opinion of the law school student body. Together, we must strive to restore our reputation in Williamsburg as professional and responsible members of the community.

Twice in seven months? Dude, have you ever considered that the kids at W&M have a drinking problem?

In any event, the SBA wants to crack down:

As a short term response to Saturday’s events, the SBA Board has:

* Delivered a written and in-person apology to the staff at the Crowne Plaza Williamsburg;
* Met with Dean Douglas to discuss improving the law school’s image in the community;
* Devised additional safeguards to implement at future events to encourage responsible behavior among students; and
* Banned several students from SBA-sponsored events for the remainder of the academic year.

In the future, the SBA Board will:

* Consider moving from an “open-bar” to a “cash-bar” system in an effort to curb excessive alcohol consumption at SBA-sponsored events;
* Assure that SBA Board members are in constant contact with facility staff when hosting off-campus events; and
* Send home students who arrive or become excessively intoxicated at SBA events.

We recognize that organizations like SBA, PSF, and BLSA regularly host events where alcohol is served. Law school organizations have already been banned from holding certain events in multiple on-campus locations, and as noted above, multiple off-campus locations. To be frank, if student behavior continues to be an issue at events in the future, law school organizations will run out of places to host events.

Cash bar + no pregame = lame.

Look, what do you want the SBA to do? It’s not like patronizing these students is going to help. Not that the SBA is above patronizing people:

We are in a graduate school that is training us to become members of a profession that has very high ethical standards. The SBA Board has great faith that all students are capable of not only becoming fine attorneys, but also responsible and upstanding members of the community. We promise to do our best to put on fun and safe events for you; we ask that you pledge to be responsible at all events sponsored by any law school organization.

We thank you for your attention and welcome you to provide us with feedback about how we can improve events to assure that students are able to be safe and responsible while having fun.

We can quibble about whether or not the legal profession is highly ethical, but we know the profession is highly alcoholic. Being a drunkard and a professional lawyer are not mutually exclusive.

But it sounds like these William and Mary law students need to learn the difference between being an alcoholic and a functional alcoholic. Alcoholics piss on the bathroom floor. Functional alcoholics puke in the toilet in the morning before a 9:00 a.m. meeting. Alcoholics have “inappropriate” relations in the hallway. Functional alcoholics have relations in a bedroom with inappropriate work colleagues.

These are important lessons that the W&M kids need to learn now. Because when they grow up, the alcoholics will have to go to things like meetings and deal with the scorn from family and friends when they want to have a shot of tequila to celebrate the fact that it’s, whatever, Tuesday.

But the ones who master functional alcoholism will get to go out, have a good time, and count on colleagues and secretaries covering for them on the occasional bad hangover day. That’s a life that has a future; the other does not.

Keep learning, W&M friends.

UPDATE (11/7/11): It appears that this incident may have been blown out of proportion. According to Dean Douglas, the law school has not been banned from the Crowne Plaza. Read more here.

Earlier: Drunk and Disorderly Conduct at a Law School Prom?
DLA Piper Partner Picks A Penalty For Public Intoxication


WILLIAM & MARY SCHOOL OF LAW — STUDENT BAR ASSOCIATION

Fellow Students:

We write to you today to provide you with an update on the annual Fall From Grace event that took place at the Crowne Plaza Williamsburg at Fort Magruder this past Saturday, October 22.

While most students responsibly enjoyed the evening’s festivities, the behavior of some of our classmates at Saturday evening’s event was unacceptable. Among other things, students were discovered by hotel staff urinating on the bathroom floor, breaking a toilet paper dispenser, knocking over a flower pot, and engaging in inappropriate behavior in the hotel hallways and bathrooms. To the chagrin of hotel staff, many students arrived at the event severely intoxicated. Some students were sent home by SBA Board members and hotel security for their reprehensible conduct.

On Monday morning, the Crowne Plaza called Dean Douglas to inform him that the law school is no longer welcome at the hotel. This is the third time over the past few years that the law school has been banned from a local facility and the second time in less than seven months.

The SBA Board is disappointed and embarrassed that these events occurred. We know many of you feel similarly. The actions of even a few law students reflects poorly on the Dean, the law school, and the College as a whole. Over the past few years, the greater Williamsburg community has developed a generally negative opinion of the law school student body. Together, we must strive to restore our reputation in Williamsburg as professional and responsible members of the community.

As a short term response to Saturday’s events, the SBA Board has:

· Delivered a written and in-person apology to the staff at the Crowne Plaza Williamsburg;
· Met with Dean Douglas to discuss improving the law school’s image in the community;
· Devised additional safeguards to implement at future events to encourage responsible behavior among students; and
· Banned several students from SBA-sponsored events for the remainder of the academic year.

In the future, the SBA Board will:

· Consider moving from an “open-bar” to a “cash-bar” system in an effort to curb excessive alcohol consumption at SBA-sponsored events;
· Assure that SBA Board members are in constant contact with facility staff when hosting off-campus events; and
· Send home students who arrive or become excessively intoxicated at SBA events.

We recognize that organizations like SBA, PSF, and BLSA regularly host events where alcohol is served. Law school organizations have already been banned from holding certain events in multiple on-campus locations, and as noted above, multiple off-campus locations. To be frank, if student behavior continues to be an issue at events in the future, law school organizations will run out of places to host events.

We are in a graduate school that is training us to become members of a profession that has very high ethical standards. The SBA Board has great faith that all students are capable of not only becoming fine attorneys, but also responsible and upstanding members of the community. We promise to do our best to put on fun and safe events for you; we ask that you pledge to be responsible at all events sponsored by any law school organization.

We thank you for your attention and welcome you to provide us with feedback about how we can improve events to assure that students are able to be safe and responsible while having fun.


comments sponsored by

78 comments (hidden for your protection) Show all comments