Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A trip to New York. No PIctures.

In law school there are 2 things that dazzle a resume. 1. being on law review and 2. being on a moot court team. Law Review entails editing 4-8 hours a week and writing a huge paper that may or may not be published. Moot Court entails getting a fake case that has made it up to the level of appeal of the Supreme Court and writing a brief explaining why the side you were assigned (either petitioner or appellate) is right and then going to orally argue your side.

I didn't do law review because at the time of trying out aka writing on, I was doing a one week course in mediation. So when the opportunity to be on a Moot Court team I decided to do it. The team was Bankruptcy. I am really into it actually, I mean into the subject of Bankruptcy. Anyways, worked on a brief all through January. The brief was great substantively, but there were a few mistakes with the citations, and overall editing.

Worked all February and part of March on the oral advocacy stuff. This entailed memorizing certain case names and holdings, practicing in front of professors and the other team (U of I sent two teams). Practicing meant that the profs. or whoever would ask difficult questions and I would do my best to answer clearly and concisely.

The Bankruptcy competition was in New York, Queens actually. Each team participates in three preliminary rounds, and then only 16 teams of the 49 advance. The brief is worth 40 percent, and the argument is worth 60 percent. Well we didn't advance. Neither did our other team. The first round my partner "crapped the bed" (his words not mine). The 2nd round I had an 18 second pause, and didn't come back strong after the pause. The third round we had a "cold bench" which means the judges didn't ask many questions. I got some strange critiques. For example, one judge said I smiled too much. The other judges said I got too nervous although they could tell i knew the material.

To make an already long story, longer. I am not the best at the theatrics of a successful moot court oral argument. I screwed up. But man am I glad it's over. I was even a little glad when my partner screwed up...knowing that then the blame wouldn't be on me. So thats that.

But New York was awesome. The food, the smells of the subway, the sore feet from walking around so much in my high boots (I forgot to pack walking shoes). And you know what...I missed Moscow when I was in New York. Crazy but true.