Outside the Classroom

March 19, 2007

E.M., 2L

I’m not going to lie: law school is hard. Sometimes it is completing a ton of reading that only gets slightly more comprehensible as time goes on. Other times, I have to write a memo that requires me both to know more about Pennsylvania prison mail policies than most wardens and to be able to summarize them for a judge with the brevity of General George C. Marshall. And I take such pleasure in poring through the infamous Blue Book at hours-long journal source cites, trying to find out just how one should cite a recently-unearthed tablet of ancient Sumerian legislation. But at least all of these challenges forge strong friendships among us here at Yale Law School and encourage us to pursue diverse social lives bounded only by our creativity. It is just as important to focus on what it is that we do when we’re not in the library or the clinic – after all, much of our learning and future success depends on the friendships strengthened outside the classroom. New Haven really is fun, and there really is something for everyone - here is a list of some of the enticing (and typical) options that were available to me in just the last couple weeks:

  • For the Cheesy: Dancing at Hula Hanks, a generic island-themed club in New Haven that draws in partiers from across Connecticut. Heavy on the faux palm-trees and dancing on table-tops, light on class.
  • For the Nostalgic: Laser tag and go-cart racing at Dadd's Xtreme Indoor Sports.
  • For the Cultured: Yale’s musicians are extraordinarily talented (and blessed by an endowment that makes tuition free!). One particular friend in the Artist Diploma’s program had her final solo recital in the acoustically-stunning Sprague Hall, featuring selections by Beethoven, Debussy and Brahms. Even better, these events are usually followed by a wine and dessert reception.
  • For the Hyperactive: Getting together with a few friends to play the Nintendo Wii. Favorite games include Rayman Raving Rabbids and Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz (yes, those are their real names).
  • For the Gastronome: Small dinner party in the East Rock neighborhood, featuring delicious fudge pie, mulled cider and intimate conversation.
  • For the Drunk Detective: A Clue-themed party at a friend’s apartment; every invitee came dressed as a suspect from the famous game and brought a drink or dessert connected to their character’s color.
  • For the Brave: Hula Hanks might be a bit light on class, but most people are overwhelmed by the trashiness of Toad’s Place, a New Haven institution that hosts a number of concerts from the Rolling Stones to Hanson and becomes a club on Saturday nights. Very popular with undergrads and students from Quinnipiac College. Recommended footwear: anything you don’t mind getting ruined.
  • For the Small Group Lover: Getting together over a beer with your fellow small group members at Anchor, a quiet and intimate bar, to reminisce and gossip.
  • For the Law School Fanatic: All Systems Go – a green light party (not to be confused with a stoplight party) at the house of some 3Ls. Featuring a dance floor, Jello shots and a fire code-breaking number of law students in a small room.
  • For the Conversationalist: A party at Bar hosted by the Yale Journal of International Law. Not surprisingly, there was beer, but also great salad and pizza – the mashed potato pizza is a particular favorite. The long tables and busy but not-too-loud ambience make it perfect to catch up with old (international law-minded) friends and meet new people.
  • For the Sports Fan: Local sports bar and TK’s, featuring 30 televisions and 20 cent wings in 30 different flavors on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
  • For the Freeloader: Sushi Night in the Law School Dining Hall – one can even preorder a platter of sushi to take to a YLS activity meeting.
  • For the Weekly Freeloader: Every Friday at 5pm, the Law School Dining Hall is shut down for a private event – and every YLS student is invited! Featuring wine, beer, and platters of cheese, veggies, wings, dumplings and more. A favorite among 1Ls lucky enough to have Friday afternoon classes.
  • For the Insomniac: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, playing at the downtown Criterion Cinemas on the big screen for only $4 per person. Part of their Insomnia Theater series, Criterion serves wine and beer!
  • For the Internationalist: Two parties in the same week – one featuring the Latin American exchange students visiting YLS through the Linkages program, and the other a potluck hosted by the Yale Law International Association, a great wait to meet our LLM and JSD students from around the world.
  • For the Lover of Political Comedy: A performance by comedian Lewis Black in Woolsey Hall – a Yale performance space holding 2600 people.
  • For the Lover of Dark Comedy: The Yale Cabaret performance of Steve Martin’s WASP.
  • For Those Wishing to Connect With the Other Grad Schools: Three recent events…Mardi Gras party at GPSCY (the grad student bar); a graduate and professional mixer (law students kindly asked to wear yellow to identify themselves as having higher than average future incomes) and the free Dartmouth-Yale Hockey tailgate, sponsored by our Graduate and Professional Schools Student Senate.
  • For the Late Night Partier: Club Med, the Yale School of Medicine’s late late Thursday night party destination for those who just can’t stop dancing.
  • For the Romantic: The Valentine’s Day Midnight Concert of Shades, the undergraduate co-ed a cappella singing group specializing in R&B, gospel and jazz.
  • For the Lover of Tradition: A trip with a group of rambunctious friends to Mory’s, the private restaurant and club, featuring “Cups” – large silver goblets filled with mysterious champagne-based concoctions. Centuries-old traditions, singing, and embarrassing stories are celebrated over the course of the evening.
  • For the Golden Pig: Celebrating the Chinese New Year (Year of the Pig) with a big feast at Royal Palace, the best Chinese restaurant in downtown New Haven.
  • For the Dancer: Every Thursday, the Law School sponsors “Bar Review” a night at a local bar or club, where law students abandon all pretense of intellectualism and just dance. Last Thursday it was at the three-level dance club Back Room at Bottega.
  • For the Doubter: New York City is only a ninety minute train ride away!