Students and alumni celebrated the Pre-law Society’s programming and success this year at its first annual banquet Thursday night.
The organization honored political science professor Barry Malter for his teaching style and contributions to the field of law. Law School alumnus David Falk, founder of SFX-Basketball and former sports agent for Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing, also spoke.
About 30 students attended the banquet, a smaller turn-out than organizers anticipated. Attendees ate dinner and dessert prior to hearing the speeches in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom, which was decorated with buff and blue balloons.
“The basic purpose of law school is to train you how to analyze and think,” said Falk, who graduated from GW Law School in 1975. “Law school is more of a general education.”
Falk reminisced about his experiences at GW, saying lessons he learned have stayed with him throughout his life.
“To be a successful lawyer, students need to be creative and able to think on their feet,” Falk said. “Being a lawyer is being able to think of creative solutions to tricky business problems.”
Falk, whose career spans various dimensions of the sports world, in August 1985 made Ewing the highest paid player in the history of the NBA, with a salary of $32 million. Falk was also executive producer of the 1996 film “Space Jam.”
About 20 minutes of the three and a half-hour event was spent recognizing Malter, who students lauded as a tough professor who cares about his classes.
President of the Pre-law Society Laura Makransky said in an introductory speech that Malter demands his students’ personal best.
Malter said he loves interacting with students.
“I am teaching strictly for the joy of teaching,” he said.
Malter said his students learn philosophy, in addition to Constitutional Law, which he teaches in the political science department.
“Life isn’t fair but it doesn’t have to be that way,” Malter said. “Life is supposed to be fair.”
Three of Malter’s students attended the banquet.
“He motivates you to do a lot of work,” junior Matt Amon said. “I’ve done more reading and writing for his class than all my classes combined.”
Mark Grady, dean of the George Mason University Law School, addressed the audience about the attitude needed to be a successful law student.
“This fruit is red and this fruit is orange, but they are both fruit,” said Grady, referring to the importance of reasoning.
Grady stressed the importance of an attorney’s ability to reason. To be a good attorney, a student needs to combine his passions with an interest in law, Grady said.
“Money follows the passion,” he said. “When you are doing something you love, you don’t have to worry about money.”
The Thursday night banquet ended the first Pre-Law Week at GW, which included a freshman pizza night and LSAT strategy sessions.
“This event is a culmination of the Pre-law Society and we look forward to honoring our members next year,” Makransky said.
Money earned at the event will be used to plan more LSAT sessions, personal statement meetings and law school visits.