A spectre is haunting the law school—the spectre of exams. With four weeks left in the semester, it’s time to bid farewell to one’s friends and family. Most students will be spending the next month or so in Faustian isolation, ‘chained to print and script…confined behind the mounds of tomes’.
Thankfully, not all is doom and gloom at this time of year! Last Thursday marked the LSS Law Ball. The Ball is an opportunity for budding lawyers to dress to the nines, drink to excess, catch up with their friends, and dance the night away.
Most importantly, it’s the one night when you can be certain that none of your fellow students are in the library getting ahead on their coursework.
That gnawing sense of guilt about your ever-increasing backlog of reading—which has compelled you to welch on countless parties, birthdays, dates and funerals—is assuaged, if only for a night.
In terms of preparation for the big night, priorities differed. Some people spent all afternoon perfecting their clothes, hair and makeup. Others, like your editor, were less concerned with achieving sartorial perfection than with attaining an elevated blood alcohol percentage.
As the sun set over Melbourne, overworked students gathered in houses, apartments and hotel rooms across the city for pre-drinks and group photos, before taking taxis or Ubers to Victoria Harbour for a night of fond, albeit slightly hazy, memories.
How one approached the night largely varied according to one’s year level. First-years tend to go the hardest. They have a heap of new friendships to consolidate, and $130 worth of value to make up in Boags and champers. They perhaps haven’t quite realised that they will be spending two-and-a-half more years with these people, and they will all remember how they behaved. They will all remember.
Most second-years just seemed happy to get a night off. Two-thirds of the way through a notoriously difficult semester, for many of us this was our first night out in all too long. Reactions varied: some caught up with old friends. Others decided to drink enough to make up for a semester of monkish restraint—and hopefully enough to kill off any memory of that Admin assignment.
Third-years, who’ll be bidding farewell to the cohort in just over a semester, seemed more close-knit.
Ultimately, what makes Law Ball so special isn’t the venue, the booze, the inexplicable presence of a string quartet, or the food (which is fortunate, because the chicken was fucking awful). It’s the presence of so many wonderful people. For all of the stresses of the JD, it offers something altogether rare—a sense of community. This was truly in evidence last Thursday, as our community came together to drink, talk, hook up, and drink some more.
So, however you finished the night—dancing frantically to Fatman Scoop at Platform One; babysitting your drunk friends; sharing a taxi home with that special (or not-so-special) someone; or enjoying a garlicky kebab somewhere in the city—I hope it lived up to your every expectation.
Hamish Williamson is a second-year JD student, and Chief Editor of De Minimis.