Once upon a time I believed that watching me compete in a law school competition would be about as hilarious as seeing my dog in a knitted cardigan. But this year I did just that, and the results were not so much hilarious as they were invigorating and encouraging.
For a long time I’d decided to leave competitions to those not so faint at heart students, but the competitions committee at my uni is dedicated that I felt it my duty to finally engage in the plethora of extra curricular activities they had on offer. This saw me enter one of my international law assignments in the paper presentation competition, and thus began my journey.
Here is what I experienced upon surprisingly reaching the finals:
40 minutes of seclusion in a small room with water and hors d'oeuvres with absolutely no contact with the other contestants.
Presenting my speech to three established competition judges (lawyers, champion mooters, university representatives) with 10 minutes of intense question time about my paper.
Finally meeting my competitors for excess amounts of wine while we waited for the results to be announced.
As you can see the competition was a high amount of pressure, luxury and competitiveness, but for someone as perpetually relaxed and non-competitive as me it offered a great opportunity to build on my speech presentation and paper writing skills with the careful consideration and feedback of the judges.
Law school competitions aren’t just for winning – they’re also a great way to gain experience, meet like-minded people and build on your legal skills. These far outweigh the heart palpitations one is bound to experience while in seclusion (note: not all law competitions include a seclusion phase). The experience taught me to be more open minded about extra curricular activities.
The small time frame we had to prepare ourselves gave me an insight into how to manage ‘last minute’ situations, the feedback from the judges was very helpful and specific and the entire experience was a lesson in how to maximize my presentation skills. Plus I now have an extra little sparkle to add to my CV and a desire to enter everything that bounces my way.
What better way to meet contacts in the legal profession, gain helpful advice for your academic journey, meet new friends and of course, douse yourself in free food and wine? What are you waiting for? Get involved!
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