Two years after graduation, classmates Jason Beekman ’11 and David Kiferbaum ’11 decided it was time to start a new tradition. “We wanted to create a signature event for young alums,” says Beekman, currently an associate at WilmerHale. “We thought about Barristers Ball, which was one of the highlights of being at the Law School, and asked ourselves, ‘Why don’t we bring it to the alumni community?”
That first year, close to one hundred people came to Barristers Ball NYC, held in the High Line Room at The Standard, overlooking the Hudson River. It was a black-tie-optional event with food, dancing, and a room full of Graduates of the Last Decade (GOLD) sharing stories of work and life. Old friends reconnected, new friends met for the first time, and before Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, there was enough momentum to start planning the second year.
By the spring of 2014, the organizing committee had grown to twenty members, and when the event returned to the High Line Room on July 26, it was bigger in every way. Joining the group were alumni from Boston and Washington, D.C., along with current Law School students working in New York City and incoming members of the Class of 2017, and a couple of special guests who made sure to introduce themselves to everyone in attendance: Eduardo M. Peñalver '94, the Allan R. Tessler Dean of Cornell Law School, and his wife, Clinical Professor Sital Kalantry '94.
For Rachel Sparks Bradley ’12, a member of the organizing committee, the best parts of the evening included meeting Peñalver and Kalantry, watching the sunset from the High Line terrace, and sharing her Cornell memories with a group of newly admitted and current students. “It was a great way to connect with people, and with the school too,” says Sparks Bradley, an associate at Simpson Thacher. “We all have Cornell in common, and it’s important for us to stay connected both professionally and personally. An event like this is another reminder that the relationships we enjoyed for three years in Ithaca will last long after graduation.”
"When you start in the legal field, especially as a junior associate, you don't have a lot of time to see people," adds Beekman. "We wanted to give people a chance to reconnect, but it's become so much more. It's a way to celebrate the uniqueness of the Law School, to mix with alums from different years and different backgrounds, and to build our community."
- Kenny Berkowitz