No Cardinal Laws to Law School Grad Parties

By the time my son Neil graduated law school, I had gotten used to the process and rhythm of planning  graduation parties. Neil graduated grade school, high school, and undergraduate college; in addition, my younger son Travis had gone through the same three major graduations. Still, when it came to planning Neil’s law school graduation party, my experience facilitating six previous parties was not any help to me. As it turns out, there is a lot more to planning this kind of graduation party that extends beyond the normal graduation party. To help make plans, I consulted the Internet and some friends for law school graduation party ideas.

One thing that was super important to keep in mind was how great an achievement it was for my son to graduate law school. Studying history for undergrad was child’s play compared to what he went throughthis last time around. Often times, graduating law school means much more than getting a degree: it means certification or licensing, completing internships, and/or being offered a position at a firm or business. This, aside from the graduate being significantly older, is why it is super important to make thisgrad party different from a high school graduation. I thought of it this way: the party quality should be proportionate to the level of the achievement celebrated.

My brother in law advised me that beer is the new party balloon because “You simply cannot have a law school grad party without booze.” Now, a lot of people seem to agree – thinking that this big achievement means the graduate needs to blow off steam – but try not to think about law school as aburden or trial that the graduate survived. After all, the graduate is likely onto bigger things now thatthey have graduated; celebrate the doors that have just opened for them, not the one they just shut!

A few concrete ideas came from talking to coworkers who have been to law school grad parties. The one that worked beautifully was creating a poster display of Neil’s certificates and photos collectedduring his studies. People get the wrong idea about law school – that it is three years of lecture halls andcourtrooms, so make sure to show off the adventures the graduate has had along the way. Another to consider is setting up tables in a central location for eating. With their new degree, your graduate will surely need to have some mingling skills! In the end, just make sure to have fun with it.