Free Food: The Beating Heart of Law School Student Life

Basic economic theory will tell you, “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” But, law school is rife with opportunities for a free lunch. So, who should you believe?

Well, incoming students should go ahead and throw those economics degrees straight into the trash where they belong, because attending BC Law is a three-year barrage of free lunch after free lunch. The Alpha is Panera Bread at 1L summer orientation, the Omega is Nina Farber bribing reluctant 3Ls to learn about bar exam preparation with pizza, and there are countless free food opportunities in between: club meetings, career services trainings, seminars, guest-speaker panels, and so on.

Rather than, say, prepare for my upcoming finals, I have instead surveyed a collection of 3Ls on their favorite free-food experiences – and transmitted their responses into digital format so that the data may outlive us all, somewhere in the cloud. I asked “what was your favorite free-food experience from a BC Law event?” and they answered:

“The 1L practice panel we had with our whole section, when they provided us with one (1) gluten free pizza from Bill’s pizza and I felt seen for the first time in my law school career.” – anonymous student too embarrassed by their association with me to have their name published.

“Punjab palace for salsa night, particularly the samosas.” – anonymous student who felt that this blogpost is somehow even worse than my usual work.

“Can I say beer from that Octoberfest event? Oh, or pie day! I did like pie day.” – anonymous student who was weirdly insistent that I waive their anonymity.

“The first time we had the Oktoberfest, I didn’t know food and melted cheese could be that good.” – anonymous student who probably just wanted to flex spelling ‘Oktoberfest’ correctly on the student quoted above.

“Bill’s pizza and the overwhelming inadequacy I felt at the 1L bootcamp events were the only constant of my first semester.” – anonymous student who did perfectly well in law school and could have used Roma Gujarathi’s post on imposter syndrome.

“It was the Uyghur event because they got food from the Silk Road place, and I thought it was nice that they supported the only Uyghur-owned restaurant in Boston.” – my only friend who took the question seriously.

For me, the best free-food experience is the snacks that librarian-extraordinaire Stephanie Farne brings for her students in Advanced Legal Research (and I’m not just writing that because I’m still in her class and my grade is still in her hands. No, definitely not.)

The prevalence of free-food opportunities is mostly just a joke among law students, and obviously “free” is our cute little shorthand for “paid for by your tuition.” Still, just because you couldn’t possibly break even on your tuition by eating the free lunches doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Going to student club panels after having been coaxed into the room by the promise of pizza is one of the fun, community-building elements of the BC Law experience. It’s something incoming students can look forward to, and something my outgoing peers and I will surely miss. 


Dan Riley is a third-year student at BC Law and self-proclaimed “free foodie.” Contact him at rileydh@bc.edu.

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