Drinking, Law Schools, Nauseating Things, Parties

Barrister’s Ball Blowout: A Night of Booze, Barf, and Blood (and B*tching About the Budget)

It’s springtime, and you know what that means: the Above the Law tips inbox has started overflowing with lurid tales of Barrister’s Ball debauchery. To start the season off on the right foot, we’ve got story for you from a law school that’s been on our watch list before for alcohol-related offenses.

Apparently students at this Massachusetts law school don’t know how to hold their liquor, much less how to properly budget for a such boozy extravaganza. This event is rumored to have cost the Student Bar Association more than $20,000, with overbudget expenses alleged to have reached the $8,000 mark.

Not too shabby for an affair where various bodily fluids were spilled. The ensuing drama all played out on the school’s online forum, where the following message appeared:

Can we all make a pact not to post this to ATL like someone did with those crazy booze swilling alcoholic 1Ls (now 2Ls)?

Alas, it seems that the kids at this school aren’t good at holding their secrets, either….

The school we’re talking about is Northeastern University School of Law, and this is one of the more detailed tips that we received about this year’s Barrister’s Ball:

so this is going on at northeastern… law students over-consuming is nothing new, but this got out of control. broken glass, blood, vomit, urine… people passed out in bathrooms, students arrested, and a huge contract dispute with the venue…

Well, that sounds like a lot of fun… minus the blood, vomit, urine, arrests, and contract disputes. Some students were very angry about what went down at the event, and like any law student would do if put in a similar situation, they took to the school’s online forum to spew their venomous comments.

Let’s go to the message board, but first, some words of caution. We generally do not “out” law students identified only on school-wide emails. If the student’s name is otherwise available in public records, if other media outlets have already named the student, if the student tells us it’s okay to name them, or if we otherwise deem it appropriate, then it’s fair game. Of course, we can’t help it if our readers know how to use Google, but we ask that you respect our naming convention when discussing in the comments.

With that in mind, the forum flame-war was started by a student whom we’ll call Social Life in Jeopardy:

Dear Barrister’s Ball planners

Are you out of your ****ing tree?

Because no one attended Barrister’s Ball, an event I was pretty sure it was extremely clear NO ONE from Fall-Spring was going to be attending (you know, because we’re all on co-op), you ended up $8,000 over budget. That, I suppose is fine in and of itself as long as you had a good plan to make up the difference.

What is it please? Because if my required student activity fees are going to be used for a ridiculous event that very few people (and no one on Fall/Spring) goes to – the least you can do is make sure it stays under budget rather than requiring more money to clean up blood and vomit that were spilled all over a hotel because no one thought it was important to include FOOD in an event with an open bar.

Seeing as the SBA has absolutely no money for the spring anymore – according to a myLaw post by your treasurer – I just want to make clear that you have NO RIGHT to take money from the fund that is supposed to pay for my commencement activities.

I can only hope the giant mess you’ve made is enough for the SBA or administration to decide that a fancy dress evening of disgusting displays of immaturity is not worth spending my loan money on. As one of the people you represent I DEMAND a good (read: actually good) explanation as to why this is even remotely acceptable. I understand that social events are important even if I don’t go to them – and I don’t begrudge anyone a well planned good time. But I have spent three years and nearly $200,000 to attend this school and I will be damned if the only event that matters to the entire student body is going to suffer to cover for some horrendously bad planning and foolish drunken antics by a bunch of supposed adults. That’s our money, for all of us.

I know you’re chuckling about this to yourselves, but you’ve embarrassed yourselves and your school. You, Barrister’s Ball planners, made your bed. I hope someone makes you lie in it. Don’t even think about punishing the rest of us for it.

Dear In Jeopardy, nobody cares about your wasted dollars if those funds allowed them to get wasted. But nevertheless, a student whom we’ll refer to as SBA Diva responded to In Jeopardy with the following:

Before you go around making outrageous claims like Barrister’s Ball was $8,000 ​over budget, you may want to get your facts straight. Also, I don’t think 180 attendees constitutes “very few people”. I have no comment as to the rest of your tirade as I find it completely out of line for a public message board, especially with all the falsities it contains. Side note– you’re the one whose Jeopardy episode airs tonight, correct? Hopefully you won some money to cover your “increased student activities fee”.

Aha! In Jeopardy was actually on Jeopardy! That could explain why he wants all of the inane facts about the budget for Barrister’s Ball. He’ll take “Out of Your F**king Tree Assertions” for eleventy billion, Alex:

Okay, well enlighten me. How much was Barrister’s Ball over budget? Enlighten me as to my falsities. You’re quite willing to say they’re there, so what are they? I don’t think I’m out of line at all. SBA is OUT OF MONEY. It’s April. There are seven weeks until the end of the quarter. Money to cover expenses has to come from somewhere. From where will it come?

Side note — the phrase “increased student activities fee” appears literally nowhere in my original post; please don’t falsely attribute statements to me.

In Jeopardy’s post was followed by a slew of back and forth messages about the price of Barrister’s Ball, whether or not the conversation was appropriate to be aired on a public forum, and whether In Jeopardy was actually a jerk, or just played one on television.

Uh oh, it appears as if Innocent Bystander has had enough of Jeopardy’s d-baggery:

Apparently a 200,000 dollar education doesn’t teach you how to respectfully communicate your concerns to others. What a shame. Best of luck in your career!

Another person who had enough was Trusty Treasurer, who stepped up to the plate to give an “inflammatory and long-winded rant” (a classmate’s words, not mine) about the costs of Barrister’s Ball, and the deficit in funding, if any, that would result after the school had worked out “clean-up costs” with the venue.

But really, who cares about any of this stuff? No one is going to whisper in the hallway about the cost of Barrister’s Ball. They want to whisper about who got a cold sore after making out with a urinal at the venue. Northeastern Law students want their “percent paid in gossip,” and so do we….

(hidden for your protection)

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