Just a Jew. Named Mitch. Writing about his feelings.

Bar Conference – Part 1

Posted by JewMitch on July 2, 2009


One of the only things that I miss about being a lawyer was going to the quarterly American Bar Association conventions in other states. They reminded me of high school field trips; they all had some stated educational purpose, but really were all about getting trashed and hanging out with lawyers from other states, who you would never see in any other context except at bar conventions.

Paradoxically, these conventions were actually more fun when we went to a no-name city. For example, in L.A. everyone would just go off and do their own thing, so nothing really crazy ever happened. However, in Charlotte, where there’s absolutely nothing to do, all the lawyers would stay up drinking together all night.

These conferences all ended with a dinner/dance type event. The Charlotte event was especially great because it was held at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway racetrack, which for whatever reason, is built like a country club. We were in the main ballroom, and in addition to a sit down dinner and a DJ, they had a full sized racecar in the ballroom that you could practice taking a tire off and putting it back on, as fast as you could, just like you were in a real NASCAR pit. Combined with an open bar, this was amazing.

My Maryland friends and I decided to take matters to the next level by playing a drinking game called “Girl Drink Drunk,” where you are only allowed to order drinks that are colored pink. This is fun for the bartenders (“Just make me something pink”) and gets everyone playing it drunk extremely quickly, as you can you can drink 8 champagnes and cranberry juices before you know it.

For some reason (i.e. because I was drunk when everyone else was grabbing a table), I wound up sitting by myself with a group of lawyers from Oklahoma.

“Wow, you guys are all from Oklahoma. This must be really different for you. Do you guys have things like dishwashers out there?”

“What’s a dishwasher?” they asked, playing along.

“It’s like a miniature shower that you can put plates and bowls inside. And it makes them clean, like magic.”

“What’s a shower? Is that like the creek?” They were good sports.

After dinner, we all got on the bus to go back to the hotel, when everyone started chanting “Party Bus! Party Bus!” Keep in mind that this was a group of adult lawyers. We made the bus driver pull over at a gas station that also sold beer.

I went inside to look for Corn Nuts, which are my absolute favorite gas station snack, and sold at surprisingly few gas stations. But as I was deciding between BBQ and regular, I noticed that the bus was pulling away. I was about to be stranded in suburban Charlotte in the middle of the night.

So I dropped the Corn Nuts and started running after the bus. I caught up with it and started banging on the side of the bus, which thankfully stopped in the middle of the ramp back to the highway. Everyone was trashed on the bus, so they just screamed, “Mitch! You made it. Here’s a beer.”

I immediately passed out on the bus for a while, which turned out to be the perfect drunken power nap, because when I woke up I was ready to go. All the lawyers were milling around the bus outside the hotel, so I started handed out beers, and told everyone that it was legal to drink on the street in Charlotte [This was a complete lie]. Then I started trying to knock over the newspaper vending machines, until someone shouted at me: “Mitch! Take it easy. Stop trying to knock those over.”

I remember shrugging him off and saying that I was fine, and then continuing what I was doing. The next day I found out that had been the president of the Young Lawyers Section of the American Bar Association.

(Part 2 tomorrow)…


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