Here's a great example of why the general advice of "go to bar association events" is a shitty thing to say.
I get e-mails for holiday parties at 2 bar associations I belong to. Nice holiday party; sounds like fun, right? They also typically have annual dinners & so forth. In fact, one person w/the membership at one of them tried to talk me & one my attorney friends into going.
Here's the problem: these events cost a fortune to attend. These annual dinners are over $100 a ticket and even the one for Queens County was about $50 a ticket. Just going to these holiday parties? They're $25 per ticket. Per fucking ticket!!!
Now it may not be the fault of the committee heads. Apparently, one of these associations does charge money to them to have food there. Not sure if anyone's ever considered the option of buying your own food with the organization's funds or getting reimbursement from the association so you're not paying the food serving staff. That's how everyone I knew did things. My sorority used dues in the treasury to pay for events & had a budget. We didn't have a sub-category of the membership who was excluded due to poverty.
Do these associations charge you for the venue?? If they do, I'd be the type of committee head to go find my own venue elsewhere & not get dicked around by the greedy associations who clearly don't live in the real world where countless new attorneys are unemployed. As in, no money to pay student loans & basic expenses.
They've apparently not even read recent issues of the ABA magazine which featured how unemployed new attorneys are dealing with the recession. Some of them are living at home & working unpaid or for anemic wages.
The cost of these so-called "yearly" bar events that are supposed to be open pisses me off. To me, it feels like I'm excluded from an association where I'm paying dues & allegedly someone who matters there. Being charged $25 & certainly being charged $100 to go to things makes me feel like I don't count. There's no option for a reduced rate or even a younger attorney discount.
The same thing happened when I was in law school. They had a yearly Barrister's Ball, which I'd have liked to go to. One year, they did at least come to their senses & charge a reasonable price for law student tickets. The problem was they didn't consider that law students might have a date that is going to school elsewhere they might want to bring. The regular ticket price was absurd for my husband, at the time a library school student. Sorry, you're not motivating me to go anywhere when my boyfriend's ticket is over $100 & he's paying the same price as some old BigFirm law partner.
Things like that make me feel completely unwelcome & say to me "I'm an elitist asshole."
I have to wonder how many younger attorneys even show up to these things. If you do, you're obviously a dupe with more money than common sense. I went to a nice holiday party at the law firm I worked at before law school. No one charged me admission or made my date pay a fortune for tickets. I even got compliments on this awesome evening gown I have; officially, it's my "Cinderella dress."
I may just say something to the person with that event as that association is supposed to be a bit more grounded in the real world that the other one, which isn't. Thank God that at least the Entertainment Committee president does understand the real world & told me not to let finances stop me from coming to events. Bless her heart; if people like that were handling policy in these groups, you might get more of the anti types in there.
* And of course, don't forget about the "Your Turn to Rant" contest. The deadline is January 3rd. *