Beer at the Rat

Since 2003, University of Miami law students have flocked to the Rathskeller every other Thursday afternoon for beer, finger food and some laughs – all for free.

Funded by the Student Bar Association, the event features more than $400 worth of kegs, chicken fingers and chicken wings bought exclusively for law students.

The next event will be held Thursday from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and most law students know you better come early, because the three kegs SBA purchases tend to go quickly.

Kelley Rafferty, a first-year law student, says he is looking forward to partaking in the time-honored tradition for the first time.

“I went to UM as an undergrad, so I’ve been waiting to go for a long time,” Rafferty said.

Formerly called “Beer on the Bricks”, the tradition has been going on since the 1970s, originally taking place in the law school courtyard, nicknamed “The Bricks.”

“We had to move it to the Rat because we were having too many incidents with underage drinkers,” Matthew Givens, a third-year law student and SBA president said. “We now check everyone’s Cane Card and ID at the door to make sure every student is of age and a law student.”

But the event is not always enjoyable for everyone involved.

Sandra Macey, a UM graduate and server at the Rat, says many servers complain that they end up picking up a lot of trash from the law student parties, and they rarely receive any tips.

“They don’t have to buy anything, because of all of their chicken fingers, fries, wings, and beer are free,” Macey said, “and they’re only required to buy one thing if they sit on the gliders, so they’ll buy one soda for eight people.”

That complaint came as a surprise to Givens, who says he has nothing to do with the compensation of the servers.

“They should protest if they’re not getting paid extra,” he said.