It’s that time of year when law students hole up in their library carrels, furiously outlining and highlighting in preparation for final exams. Finals are undoubtedly a stressful time on law campuses, and no wonder—a single make-or-break exam can determine your entire grade in some cases.

Amid the tension, we’re highlighting the lighter side of law school life. It’s not all torts, cold calls and class rank, after all. We checked out the official student organizations listed on the websites of U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 law schools to get an idea of what students do outside the classroom and how they blow off steam.

What we found makes law school seem (a little) fun!

A Cappella Groups

It turns out that law schools love some good old fashioned unaccompanied singing. Nearly half the schools we surveyed have a cappella groups, and as you’ll see, they just can’t resist a legal pun.

—We have not one, not two, but three LawCappellas (or punctuation variations thereof) at Georgetown University Law Center, the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law and the University of California, Davis School of Law.

—Habeas Chorus is another popular moniker, popping up at both Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law and Yale Law School.

—Both the University of Michigan Law School and Vanderbilt University Law School have a cappella groups called Headnotes, while the University of Alabama School of Law’s Footnotes strikes a similar, er, note.

—Honorable mentions go out to the University of California, Berkeley School of Law’s Pro Bonotes (love the public service angle), Harvard Law School’s Scales of Justice, Duke Law School’s Off The Record and Fordham University School of Law’s Tortfeasors.


As we mentioned, law school can be a grind. Why not step away from the books and recharge with classmates over a cold pint or some fine wine? These schools have you covered.

—We’re assuming Harvard’s Beeritas is a riff off Veritas (the university’s motto, which is Latin for “truthâ€), but regardless this “official Beer Appreciation Society of Harvard Law School†offers bi-weekly tastings. Cheers!

—Beer lovers at both the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Georgetown can join up with Beyond a Reasonable Stout.

—The University of California, Irvine School of Law is home to Barley Legal, a “social club dedicated to the history, law, craft and enjoyment of beer.â€

—Not to be outdone by Beeritas, wine enthusiasts at Harvard have their own club: In Vino Veritas holds tasting workshops and dinners at local restaurants.

—The University of Chicago Law School takes a literary tact with its Hemingway Society, dedicated to a “wide variety of tipple.â€


If booze isn’t your bag, sports are a great way to de-stress and bond with classmates. Here’s a selection of the more unusual, or funny, law school sports organizations.

—There’s really only one place the Fighting Mondales Ice Hockey Club could exist. For the record it’s the University of Minnesota Law School.

—New York University School of Law’s pick-up soccer club wins the prize for best overall name: Learned Foot. If you don’t get it, go back to law school. Bonus: The club holds an annual La Copa de NYU. Ole! Ole!

—Like Ultimate Frisbee? Then Penn Law’s Civ Throw is for you.

—Columbia Law School has all varieties of sports clubs, including the pithily named Maximus Gravitas (weightlifting) and Point of Law (fencing). En garde!

—Running clubs are a dime a dozen at law schools, it would seem. Berkeley Law gives us our personal favorite: Runners Not Gunners. But Columbia’s Running From the Law and Penn’s With All Deliberate Speed aren’t bad either. Georgetown’s Hoya Lawya Runners has a nice ring to it.

Affinity Groups

Law schools are chock-full of affinity groups for different regional, racial, ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual orientations, so we aren’t going to get into those. But here are a few groups that stand out from the crowd.

—Few law schools have affinity groups specifically for graduates of other campuses. Then again, few football rivalries are as fierce as Florida State University and the University of Florida. Perhaps that’s why UF grads attending the FSU’s College of Law have banded together to form LitiGATORS.

—Lots of schools have organizations for OWLS—Older, Wiser Law Students. Extra points to Harvard for having SCOWLS, which is the Society of Committed and/or Older, Wiser Law Students. We imagine that’s also what members do when they notice younger classmates Snapchatting during lectures.

—Columbia’s Canadian Club promises to help members celebrate Thanksgiving “at the right time†and put both cheese and gravy on their fries. How aboot that?

—What is it about Texans? Apparently they love to band together when attending law school elsewhere. Are they lonesome for the Lone Star State? Here are a couple other regional affinity groups we like: Penn Law’s Y’allsa is for all those Southern charmers out there to “share the joys of country music, fried food and front porches with our Northern brethren.†The University of Virginia School of Law in home to the West Coast Wahoos, for those who find themselves on a distant shore.

The Arts

Who says the law isn’t creative? These organizations urge law students to tap into their inner artists through music, comedy, theater and painting.

—The end-of-the-year law revue is a beloved tradition at many law schools. Here are a few of the theatrical groups staging those satirical shows: Minnesota has the Theater of the Relatively Talentless (TORT); Washington University School of Law in St. Louis has Barely Legal Theater; and UVA has The Libel Show. Especially amusing: the University of Texas Law School’s Assault & Flattery.

— If anyone could use a laugh, it’s law students during finals. The Boalt Improv Group and Court Jesters bring improvisational comedy to Berkeley and Duke, respectively.

—Come on, everybody, do that conga! Georgetown’s Muevelo Latin Dance Club brings together students with a love of salsa, merengue and the cha-cha.

—For the classy music lover at Harvard Law, the Chamber Music Society offers students an opportunity to maintain their musical interests while working away on their law degrees.

Stuff Your Grandparents Enjoy

We haven’t come across a law school shuffleboard or bingo club yet, but here are a few other organizations that may well appeal to the older souls among the student body.

—Berkeley Law’s Boalt Crossword Club is no joke. Members compete with crossword clubs at other schools and track their solving times.

—We don’t have much intel on the activities of Georgetown’s Gardening Club, but we imagine they include things like planting, weeding, pruning, harvesting and discussions of mulch and such.

—The Columbia Card Club offers students the opportunity to come together for card tournaments and to discuss the regulatory issues of card playing. No word on whether members play much Bridge.


There are a ton of random law school clubs and organizations out there. Here are a few that caught our eye.

—Members of Michigan Law’s Compost Michigan are going green. They oversee a composting program throughout the law school and promote other zero-waste activities on campus.

—The University of Colorado Law School has the only marijuana-focused club that we found. Its Cannabis Law Law League discusses how the state’s recent legalization of weed is affecting the emerging cannabis market.

—UVA law students gain money management experience in Rivanna Investments, where they control a $130,000 investment portfolio.

—The Columbia Law School Murder Mystery Society writes and produces “live action murder mystery parties.†We’re envisioning the movie “Clue,†but with even worse acting.

—OK, we’re not actually sure that the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Cane Toss is technically a student organization, but it’s listed as one on the school’s website, so here goes. Each year during the homecoming game, third-year law students run on to the football field wearing bowler hats and throw a cane in the air. If they catch the cane, tradition dictates they will win their first case. We’re not exactly sure what happens if they miss, though a nasty knot on the head seems a distinct possibility.

Contact Karen Sloan at On Twitter: @KarenSloanNLJ