‘Order on the court’: Stanford Law battles Berkeley Law

A group of Stanford Law School (SLS) students took on law students from the University of California, Berkeley in an inaugural “Order on the Court” basketball game held on Sunday at Berkeley High School. SLS lost the match by double digits, despite a strong second half showing.

Co-organized by second-year law students Kevin Wang J.D. ’25 and Marit Vike J.D. ’25 in coordination with Berkeley Law, the match was inspired by the Deans’ Cup, an annual charity basketball game between Columbia Law School and New York Law School first conceived in 2002. The event received sponsorships from multiple law firms and personal donations. According to Wang, all proceeds will go towards funding grants for graduating students who pursue careers in public interest law as well as ones working on pro bono projects.

The SLS team was coached by David Engstrom, a law school professor and Deborah L. Rhode Center on the Legal Profession co-director. Engstrom was a member on the Dartmouth men’s basketball team. His coaching staff included constitutional law professor Jeff Fisher and student Sydney Jordan J.D. Ph.D ’27, who was a captain on Princeton women’s basketball team. 

During the game, the SLS team showcased an array of offensive sets, including double screen actions and high pick and roll. They also displayed versatility defensively, playing both man-to-man and zone coverages throughout the game. They were even able to counter Berkeley Law’s full court press with little trouble. The lack of slashers and outside shooters, however, proved to be the SLS’s Achilles’ heel.

Berkeley Law immediately jumped out to a 13-1 lead in the game’s opening, hitting a pair of threes in the early going. The lead continued to balloon and the score reached 46-27 after three quarters of play. But a miraculous fourth quarter run saw SLS cut the lead down to nine. But with the clock running low, Berkeley Law’s lead was too great for SLS to surmount. The game ended 53-43 with SLS in defeat. 

“It was so much fun to get back out there, be with all these people, raise so much money and play for a good cause,” said Everett Vaughn J.D. ’26 after the game.

Standing at 6’10, Vaughn was the team’s centerpiece. Having previously played forward for the Texas A&M Aggies, Vaughn led the way for SLS on both the offensive and defensive ends. His aggressive post play and elite paint protection kept SLS in the game against Berkeley Law’s lights up three-point shooting.

Starting guards Sherwood Sheen J.D. ’24 and Hector Reyes J.D. Ph.D. ’25 controlled the backcourt for SLS. Despite struggling offensively, their court vision and perimeter defense served as a stabilizing presence for SLS during the game.

Despite the loss, the event provided a fun and meaningful experience for hundreds of SLS students and community members who came out to support the team. SLS students organized pre-game socials, made posters for players and wore Stanford colors. Chants could be heard throughout the game, and the crowd’s excitement reached a crescendo during SLS’s fourth quarter comeback. 

“There were so many moments where everyone went crazy,” Wang said. “It was really fun.”

Given the event’s success, Wang hopes “Order on the Court” will become a SLS tradition in the years to come.