Dallas’s Belo Mansion may have been a funeral home for 50 years, even hosting the funeral of Clyde Barrow back in the ’30s. But Friday night the old joint was anything but a dead zone, as roughly 1,000 people turned up for a raucous holiday shindig there marking the 20th anniversary of McKool Smith, an IP/commercial litigation law firm.
Think casino games. Exotically clad drink servers (one, pictured after the “jump,” wore a steel “skirt” holding dozens of champagne flutes). Plus multiple live bands — including a group (called Vocal Trash) at the valet entrance that sang and banged out tunes like Footloose using garbage-can lids and drums made out of empty water-cooler bottles.
The Dallas-based firm’s Mike McKool blew out all the stops for this year’s annual holiday party, no doubt. Example: Lawyers from the firm’s other six U.S. offices, including from its newest outpost in L.A., were flown in and put up at a local hotel (presumably not a Super 8). McKool also went above and beyond on the season’s giving side, presenting not one but two $100,000 checks to nonprofit groups during the evening.
Dallas’s Vogel Alcove snagged one of the checks. The other went to Barbara Pierce Bush’s Global Health Corps. The daughter of George W. and Laura Bush was there to accept the dough in person, while her parents sat watching at a table nearby.
The 2011 economy may be continuing to struggle in many ways. If the McKool Smith bash was any indication, though, it’s been a stupendous year for the lawyers. (Photos by Jeanne Prejean)