OFF THE RECORD - Seton Hall Law

Barristers’ Ball: Balancing Studies with Social Connection

Posted by Carter Massengill on 6/10/24 12:03 PM

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For many in the legal profession, the concept of work-life balance seems elusive. Perhaps a narrative shift is needed: one that doesn’t compartmentalize work and life, but integrates them. Barristers’ Ball, an annual event hosted by the Student Bar Association (SBA), offers students a chance to unwind and rejuvenate while immersing themselves in the legal community. Barristers’ was held on March 23 at an exciting new venue, The Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, NJ, which exuded an atmosphere of refinement with its soaring ceilings and chandeliers.

That evening, students traded legal briefs for fancy attire and danced, socialized, and made meaningful connections. The event started with cocktail hour and hors do ‘oeuvres, followed by dinner and an open bar. The energy continued to build as a DJ, who had a clear preference for early 2000s hits, kept the dance floor humming. Throughout the night, a photo booth captured candid moments of camaraderie. But the highlight was the announcement of the Professor of the Year awards where Professor Coenen and Professor Karwowski were selected by students for their mentorship and dedication to Seton Hall Law.

“Barristers’, our biggest social event of the year, is always a great opportunity for all students to come together and celebrate our accomplishments throughout the school year,” said Natalie Kenny ’24, the SBA Social Chair. “It’s a great break from everyone’s busy class schedules to spend quality time with friends and build relationships with classmates.”

While many face a constant pressure to study, students should not overlook experiences outside of the classroom. Social events like Barristers’ Ball are not distractions, but integral components of a well-rounded legal education.

Alex Pila ’24, the SBA President, remarked: “Barristers’ Ball was such a success this year! The Legacy Castle was a new venue for us and could not have been better. The dance floor was full of students enjoying the evening. I hope everyone who attended made memories and friends to last a lifetime.”

The relationships cultivated with future colleagues will be valued more than the countless hours spent in the library over the weekend. Embracing opportunities to connect with classmates on a deeper level, beyond conventional "law school conversations," fosters a fulfilling work-life balance. After a night filled with celebration and connection, students felt recharged heading into the final stretch of the academic year.

Barristers’ Ball reminds students of an often overlooked, but undeniably essential part of education: the power of social connection. As the night progressed and the dance floor came alive, it was clear the success is not just about what you know, but who you know.

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