Face-painted children, inflatable bowling pins, and an untold number of cookies? It must be Family Day at the Law School.
This new tradition gives students, faculty, and staff a chance to bring their families to the Law School on a weekend day to socialize, play, and eat. The first fall Family Day was Sept. 29; another one is planned for the spring.
During this most recent Family Day, kids from infancy to about age 10 had the run of the place and enough activities, from balloon animals to bean-bag toss, to keep them busy for hours. Some stopped long enough to eat a hot dog or some pasta salad; others, not so much.
At the start of the day, a panel of 2L and 3L law students with spouses and/or children talked to about a dozen new students and their significant others about what sorts of challenges to expect. They told them to give up the idea that they can “have it all” and instead focus on their priorities – family and school. They said it would be wise to delegate household duties, such as cleaning, at the busiest times of the school year. (And, of course, make up for it by doing the chores when your spouse is busy at work or school.) They answered questions about taking a summer job away from your family, and whether it’s worth it. (The answer: It depends on how much separation you can stomach and what city you will live in after school.)
The panel was helpful to 1L Becca Rickett and her husband, Aaron. They’ve been married a year and a half and plan to have children at some point. They said the students on the panel showed them that, with some sacrifice and patience, it’s possible to have a strong marriage, a successful law school experience, and even a new family.
“It’s very helpful to find people who have gone through this already,” Becca said, adding that she especially liked meeting the children of fellow students because it adds another layer to how well she knows them.
The highlight of the afternoon may have been when those children gathered at the center of the Green Lounge to take turns swinging a broom handle at a pinata. The pinata was on a string, held aloft by two students on chairs who came precariously close, several times, to being whacked in the knee. Thankfully, Family Day ended with no injuries and lots of treats.