Monday, 28 May 2012

Told you I'd be back . . .

So, In an earlier post, probably about 14 months ago, I shared with the world the torment, pain and suffering that stems from being knocked out of my Uni mooting competition at the quarter final stage. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I'm proud to announce that you are now reading the words of the 2011-12, Strathclyde university mooting Champion. Whoop Whoop!

The whole experience has been great and I can highly recommend it to anyone studying law. I could probably come up with hundreds of reasons to get involved in mooting, but here are my top 5, in no particular order. 

1. You'll learn how to do legal research much more quickly and effectively
2. You'll meet and get  to know other bright hard working law students
3. If you do well you'll put yourself on the radar of the senior lectures at your school
4. Your public speaking skills and confidence will grow
5. Your group work skill will come on in leaps and bounds

I signed up for mooting off my own back, without a partner in mind. So both years where I've competed I've been assigned one by the mooting society. The partners I've had could not have been more different. In my first year my partner was in her early twenty's highly academic, quiet and extremely hard working. My partner this year was a larger than life, mature student with bags of life experience but very little experience of law from an academic point of view, (when we met at first she was only 3 weeks into her LL.B). 

In the first competition I learned a lot about court etiquette, legal research, public speaking and presentation  skills. The biggest thing I've learned this time around has been how to be a better partner. My relationship with my partner this year was pretty tumultuous, we've worked really well at times, we've also came close to falling out at times and been at each others throats. I have learned that when you're working in a close relationship with someone it's extremely important that you learn to trust and rely on each other. You have to be flexible and reliable in equal measure, but most of all, the big thing, the key, the holy grail of good teamwork is, probably has always been and always will be . . . communication. I must admit that this hasn't always been my strong suit. There have been times where I've been guilty of being slow to reply to emails, answer calls and text messages. It's no coincidence that at these times, the tensions have mounted and things have gotten a little less productive. In preparation for the mooting final, I made a point of speaking to my partner everyday and letting her know what I was thinking, where I was at and where I thought she should be. As a consequence, the final of the competition, in the High Court in Glasgow, where we were being judged by Lord MacKay, in front of all the senior lectures from the law school, somehow felt a great deal LESS stressful than some of the moots we did in earlier rounds of the competition. 

Anyhoo, this is my wee celebratory post, I couldn't be happier about winning, for any number of reasons, not least of which being that Prof. Poustie, the head of my law School asked me represent the Uni in external competitions next year. Watch this space . . .