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The Game – Law School Style


W.L., 1L

The weekend before Thanksgiving plays host to one of the great Ivy League traditions – the Harvard-Yale game, or The Game. And while some might think that Harvard bested (uh, trounced) Yale this year by winning The Game 45-7, those folks are focused on the wrong matchup. One of my dear friends put it best, when after The Game on Saturday she updated her Facebook status to the following: “The mucking about by the undergrads this morning was irrelevant. The real action took place last night.” And that action she was referring to? The Court Classic, a tradition pitting Yale Law against Harvard Law in an energetic, intense, and highly entertaining basketball battle on the hardcourt.

Until last year Harvard Law had won five straight Court Classics. (We’re not making excuses, but I heard something about how HLS has a few more students.) But then the tide started to turn in 2010, as Yale Law went to Cambridge and, after a 74-56 win, made the trip back to New Haven with trophy in hand.

The stage was set for an epic showdown this year. Would Harvard Law again emerge as champions of the Court Classic, proving that last year was a fluke? Or would Yale Law rise to the occasion and defend its title on its home turf?

Thanks to many hours of practice, some clutch play down the stretch, and hundreds of wonderful fans, Yale Law pulled out a 65-61 overtime victory. This year’s game will surely go down as one of the best yet, with each team trading the lead and fighting hard right down to the wire. In the end, though, Yale Law took the victory, and will soon start gearing up to make it three in a row next year.

And the best part about the Court Classic? It raises money for YiPPiE, the Yale Incentive Program for Public Interest Employment, a student-run organization that funds Yale Law students who pursue public interest jobs during the summer. (OK, I’m a big basketball fan, so I don’t know if I can honestly say that YiPPiE funding is the best part of Court Classic, but it’s definitely a very positive piece and an incredible organization at Yale.)

It’s always good to have a win-win – a great basketball rivalry AND public interest funding. But for Yale Law School, it’s even better to have a win-win-WIN.