Wednesday, January 24, 2007

And .... Done.

The moot, that is.

What a freakin' experience. I felt that I prepared as well as I could, practiced a few times, and tried to stay calm and un-nervous leading up to it. That worked through my opponents argument, during my opening statement, and up until I got asked the first question from the bench. Yes, the judges were two 3rd year students and my Torts prof, all people that on their own aren't menacing or threatening in any way, but put me infront of them as Judges, and I felt like a deer in head-lights.

I did have an audience, quite a few of my classmates, and even another prof ... but it could have been 1000 people, I was so focused on what I was doing, and I never would have noticed anyone. When the first question was asked, I felt like I was on shaky ground. The questions weren't earth shattering or devastating, I knew what I wanted to say to answer them, but getting it out in an articulate and rational manner, as well as persuasive, seemed like a real challenge at the time.

I was really happy when it was over. Afterwards, we hit the student pub and relaxed and took a deserving break, and when I reflected on my performance, I was disappointed with myself. My perspective and my internal voice were anything but confident.

The next day I was scheduled to review my performance with my Prof (part of the mooting process). When I watched myself on video (which is horrifying enough in any case), I was surprised. My internal self-doubt didn't transmit (as much) in the way that I delivered my argument. Horay! My Prof said that I had done a good job, which made me feel about 1000% better. Next time, I'll destroy any moot that I take on.

I'm glad that it's over, and if I had to offer any tips, this is what they would be:

1. Prepare like a crazy person. I did do up summaries on each of the cases in the factums, but I feel like some of them should have been more complete (with more of the facts).

2. Practice like a crazy person. I feel like I practiced enough, and that consisted of going through my whole argument about 4 times. It wouldn't have hurt to do it a few more times, though.

3. Remain calm. Remember that taking a pause can be a good thing, and when it seems like 10 minutes to you, it really only seems like a few seconds to the people watching. Don't let it phase you.

4. Remember to use inflection (I probably could have done better with this), and remember not to say "I think" (I did that far too often, and everytime that I said it, I gave myself a mental slap - remember not to mentally slap yourself either, just keep rolling with your gig ... the mental slap doesn't help you out, save it for after the moot).

5. Remember that the court is not "out to get you". Be persuasive, and really try to swing them to the dark (or light) side of the force.

6. Prepare only 10-15 minutes of your argument ... you'll not have time to get through everything if it's any longer (for a 30 minute moot, that is). The questions take up a lot of the time, and it's better to finish earlier than to not get through your material.

7. Present your argument in a SIMPLE and ORGANIZED fashion. I can't stress this enough. Simplicity is the key (in my humble opinion).

That's all I can think of right now.

Now, to catch up with all the reading that I'm behind on ... that should be fun. I'm also going to try and make some Sunny-Boy muffins, I found the recipe on, which looks like a stellar site that I'll have to examine a bit closer when I've got time.

Ah ... blessed freedom from assignments (for the time being), how liberating!

P.S. My Mom and Sister are in Cuba right now. I am ever so jealous. I could use some beach action .... mmmmm .... mojitos and the beach!

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