Competition at YLS

April 1, 2008

L.A., 2L

People will tell you YLSers aren’t competitive. People will tell you that walking through the doors of 127 Wall Street will instantly divest you of any desire to step over your classmates and friends on your way to becoming #1 at Yale.

People are liars.

Sure, we don’t have grades. Sure, most YLSers understand (and rejoice in) the fact that all of us will be offered wonderful jobs and opportunities without having to worry about grading curves or how that B+ will mess up our chances of clerking. But put a group of YLSers in a room with a set of dominoes or Mario Kart 64 and I promise you, sparks will fly.

Every few weeks, about 20-30 YLS students get together at a downtown café and play dominoes for two to three hours. Beginners are encouraged and welcomed, and seasoned vets (including tournament champs) are on hand to offer strategies and advice, while of course, also poking some well-intentioned, but funny remarks at those of us receiving a sound trouncing. Playing dominos (and similar games) is a brilliant way to get to know classmates and release some of that pent up competitiveness that we no longer have any use for. In a different (but, I’d argue, equally fun) vein, I recently had a few people over to play Mario Kart 64 at my apartment and again loved the fact that my usually chill and quiet law school friends could get into heated exchanges about the pros/cons of racing Bowser or Yoshi.

There is no describing the sheer entertainment value of getting together with a bunch of your classmates and allowing yourself to revel in their hitherto unknown talent for talking smack. I love the fact that YLS makes competitiveness unnecessary, but I have to say it does have its moments.