Cool Beans: Getting to know the Burge Union Baristas

“Don’t miss the forest for the trees.” 

On more than one occasion and from more than one professor, the above expression was used to remind law students that the intricacies of law form a larger operating legal system. By only focusing on learning either the intricacies or the system, a law student is likely to fundamentally misunderstand both. But why stop with the expression’s application to legal studies? What does the expression reveal about being a KU Law student in the larger KU community? 

Law students studying at the Burge Union
Law Students Studying in the Burge Union

KU Law maximizes study opportunities and limits wasteful class transition commutes by not only having every class, but even every professor’s office, in Green Hall. Law students could enter the building at 7:30 a.m. and not step outside of it until as late as 11:00 p.m. (especially considering the upgraded vending machine selection). A short elevator ride or a few sets of stairs can take you from the buzzing first-floor commons to the beautiful view from the fifth floor of Wheat Law Library. Somewhere between them is each law student’s entire day.

Convenience comes at a price. Law students can miss out on connecting with the larger KU student body. If you have not yet taken time to get to know people outside of your law school peers, you need to, and the perfect place to start is just across the road at the Burge Union. 

The Burge Union’s floor-to-ceiling windows illuminate a bright and welcoming communal space, but nothing does more for the enjoyment of Burge than the baristas. The baristas are always happy to grind a fresh shot of espresso so that you can get back to your grind. Do not feel the need to rush away after ordering though, because every barista has confirmed their favorite customers to interact with are KU Law students.

Hannah might share how she similarly feels locked away in her building as an engineering major. Ryan may discuss his plans to commute on K-10, like many law students, for his upper-level Biotechnology courses at the KU Edwards Campus. Anna, who is one of the most experienced baristas and a coffee aficionado, can relate to out-of-state law students as she is from Colorado Springs. 

The mornings I spend in Burge are always enjoyable. Sipping a warm coffee and watching the steady stream of students shuffle in and out of the Burge with the playful banter between the baristas filling the air is how I gain inspiration from our greater Jayhawk community. Law students are trees in a much larger KU forest. Learning to appreciate this fact has helped me, and I hope can help others to solidify a sense of belonging in our wonderful campus community. 

Barista Hot Takes

Autumn, a Burge Union Starbucks barista poses with two freshly made drinks

Hannah (Engineering Major)

Q: What percentage of the law students would paint their face and/or chest for a KU basketball game? 

A: 5%.

Ryan (Biotechnology Major)

Q: What drink best describes a law student? 

A: A venti Americano with an extra shot of espresso.

— By Ryan Love, a 2L from El Paso, Texas and a KU Law Student Ambassador