Prom: High School v. Law School

In many ways law school is very much like high school. We have lockers, flirt with each other, procrastinate from our work, gossip about each other… usually about who is flirting with whom, have clubs, a designated lunch period, and even a few “gimme” classes.

But probably the biggest reason law school is like high school is prom. Yes that antiquated tradition of inviting a member of the opposite sex to boogey down to a terrible DJ in uncomfortable clothes while trying to figure out if your date is going to kiss you or not. I went to an all girls high school so EVERY event was Sadie Hawkins style… though one time this guy from the local all boys school sent a dozen roses and lilies in a basket to my high school to ask me to his prom. After the event I was voted worst prom date ever and we never spoke again… until his mom called my mom to apologize for the fact that her son didn’t ride home with me in the limo. Yea that was awesome.


My senior prom I asked my friend Greg. He was the best friend of my junior prom date Dave…. who coincidentally also voted me the worst prom date ever, but only after he tried making out with my friend Lisa (date-less) in the bounce house I’d forced my friend Liz’s parents to rent for our after party. It was awesome.

I asked Greg by making a CD of random songs I somehow thought embodied “prom.” None were too notable except the first one which went a little something like this:

(Imagine a nun… my high school principle… sitting in my grey Toyota Corolla listening to this.)

Greg accepted (who wouldn’t) and we prepared for a great night. A limo was ordered. My hair and makeup were done. And everyone’s parents gathered at my best friend Niree’s house for pictures. Then we went off to dance the night away to songs like Nelly Furtado’s  “Promiscuous” and Pussy Cat Doll’s “Buttons” at the Sheraton at Universal Studios under the watchful eye of a bunch of nuns and religion teachers. The after party was spent at my friend Sammi’s house where I had my first drink ever. Sorry mom and dad! But lets be impressed I waited that long. However, I never wanted another shot of sour apple Smirnoff ever again. And that was senior prom.

My best friend Niree and I!

My date Greg and I and some of our other friends!

Then there’s Law School prom.

I attend USC. Known for it’s small class sizes and entitled undergrads. One of the things that small class size does is make us all really excited to get drunk together. Don’t ask me why. It just does.

Law School prom is not nearly as formal as high school… people don’t really take dates unless they are dating someone (rare for busy/nerdy/mildly unattractive law students). And the whole event is based around making sure you don’t need to drive home. Many people rent hotel rooms (strictly forbidden in high school), cabs are booked ahead of time, or people play the “find an overnight buddy” game. Surprisingly very few limos are taken, which is probably because we’re poor law students or just don’t care enough to think about it ahead of time.

Short cocktail dresses are worn instead of longer or fancier dresses like in high school. Though many people do still get their hair and make up done! I went with my friend Kate to Dry Bar in West Hollywood (awesome) and then to Sephora with Kate and Morgan to get our make up done (totally worth it). And off we went!

My date was my roommate Gillian’s best friend from high school- Whitney!! Who did NOT vote me worst prom date ever! Progress!

Law School prom is awesome and people attend for one main reason: open bar. Now despite that people still pregame… or drink excessively in a hotel room. My friend Alain had rented a hotel room so we all showed up there in various states of dress or undress and Whitney, Kate, and I proceeded to drink our way through a lovely bottle of Kettle One and calcium fortified orange juice. (Yea strong bones!)

My gorgeous date Whitney!

Blake and Derek!!

Some of the ladies!

Blake and I playing with some of the props.

After finishing the vodka and juice we went off to dance the night away to songs like Kanye and Jay-Z “N*****s in Paris” and Justin Bieber’s “Baby” at the Luxe Bel Air under the watchful eye of a bunch of drunk law students and a poor party photographer while playing with various props (mustaches were a huge theme for the night) and glow sticks. Though the night didn’t end with a bounce house it did end with a pretty legit cheese quesodilla and an attempt the next morning to remember the exact sequence of events (an unsuccessful venture).

So how is law prom different from high school prom? Dates? check. Dresses? Check. Nuns? Nope. Booze? Check. Bounce house? Nope. Group pictures? Check.

The only real difference is that this time my date and I will continue to speak afterward instead of pretending like the other was some figment of our imagination our therapist told us to pretend didn’t exist.



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