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Q&A with a Lisa Jørgensen

Graduating student Lisa Jørgensen is a recipient of the 2012/2013 Premier Undergraduate Scholarship and Wesbrook Scholarship. Thirteen students across the university were selected this year for what is UBC’s most prestigious student award. The award is given to a senior student with outstanding records in the areas of academics, participation in sports, leadership, and involvement in student and community activities. We asked Lisa a few questions about her achievements and experience at UBC Law. 

Why did you choose to go to law school?

I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer. I debated competitively throughout my undergrad and absolutely love oral argument. But after finishing my BAH in Political Science I wasn’t so sure. I decided to take a couple years off to work and think about what I wanted to do with my life. That eventually lead to me pursuing teaching English overseas. I lived in Mexico for a couple months and eventually spent a year teaching in Cairo, Egypt. Many of my friends worked with refugee groups in Egypt and I heard their stories/did some volunteer work/spent a considerable amount of time getting to know the community through my students and their families. My time in Egypt, just months before the revolution, showed me the disgusting things that can transpire in the absence of a just legal system. My experiences renewed my dedication to going to law school – I wrote the LSAT and applied while living Cairo. It was the best decision I ever made.

How did you juggle school and other activities?

For me it was all about setting priorities and staying organized. School was always my top priority. I spent quite a lot of time at the beginning of each semester getting a sense of which courses required more or less time and scheduled my time accordingly. In first year, when competitive debating took me overseas for 4 weeks over the course of the year, I did a lot of reading in advance and scheduled meetings with my professors to make sure I understood everything.

I didn’t find it hard to fit in outside activities I care about. I think that it’s important to maintain who you are and do things that keep you happy and sane during law school. Being able to focus on things other than school that I enjoy kept me relaxed and focused, whether it was something law-centric like volunteering at a nonprofit, going to the gym, or reading bad fiction. For me, law school wasn’t just about school; a big part of it was getting the chance to take on challenging and exciting non-academic roles that let me apply my studies in a practical setting. Ultimately, I found that I was able to make time for all the things I cared about – friends, family, my partner, school, volunteer work, etc. by staying organized and having a clear sense of what mattered most to me.

What are your plans for after graduation?

This summer I will be working for the Crown Law Office – Criminal in Toronto and writing the bar exam in Ontario. In September I am starting a clerkship at the Ontario Court of Appeal. I am not entirely sure what I will do after my clerkship, but I hope to return to the firm I summered at to pursue a career in civil litigation.

Can you describe your law school experience?

Law school has been an amazing experience. I came to law school with a sense that law was what I wanted to do, but was otherwise pretty directionless. Law school has given me a clear set of priorities and opened up a career that has me genuinely excited. The professors at UBC are fantastic. I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from them over the past three years. I’ve also been blown away by the support I’ve received to pursue my own interests and goals from everyone at UBC Law. I am excited to start my career, but I will miss being at UBC Law.

Stress Less

I want to keep this post short seeing as how everyone is busy studying for final exams. I can’t believe how quickly this term has passed. It only seems like yesterday that I was trying to be a tree, didn’t know what a CAN was, and was a foreigner to the concept of studying on a Friday night.

But the term is over, and that means exams are coming, seemingly with an extra-large side of stress. We’ve had ‘We Love Law Students’ week with cookies, free massages and puppy therapy, which is such a wonderful effort by UBC Law’s amazing staff and faculty to take care of us. Going off of that theme, I want to use this post not just to wish everyone a good exam season, but also as a reminder not to stress out too much. This is mainly directed at 1Ls, but if you are a 2L or 3L reading a mere mortal of a 1L’s blog post, you are awesome and I am giving you a virtual hug.

Here are some of the phrases I’ve heard about law school/finals this past week or so: hell, stressful!, like being punched in the head every day, I wake up in the middle of the night because of stress, I can’t sleep, there is no time to do well!, toxic levels of studying… and other phrases which demonstrate too well the versatility of a certain expletive. Even one of our professors commented that this year the level of 1L stress seems to be higher than normal. I have friends in medical school who are learning how not to accidentally kill people who stress less than some law students.

So, even though you’ve heard this a million times, here it is in classic final-exam condensed form:

  • Your health > your marks | marks are NOT determinative/necessarily reflective of: intelligence, amount of hard work you’ve put in during the year, ambitions, or future success as a lawyer.

I may be the worst offender myself sometimes, but my best stress reduction technique is to keep things in perspective. If I feel overwhelmed, I stop and think: If I went to bed last night with a full stomach and a roof over my head, I’m better off than a massive portion of humanity, past and present, and my stresses are relatively minimal. So, take a breath and slow down. Try to balance your day of studying with breaks, physical activity, time with family, friends, pets, and don’t let stress get the better of you. We’re almost there!


Hello Future 1Ls!

As I’m buckling down to write 1L final exams, I realize that a year ago around this time, I was gearing up for my summer before law school.  Prospective students may be in a state of curiosity about how to prepare for 1L, as I was, so I decided to share some suggestions in case you feel inclined to do some pre-law preparation (if you don’t, see number 5).

1. I didn’t do any pre-law reading. I know of a couple peers who read Getting to Maybe: How to Excel on Law School Exams by Fischl and Paul. They said it was kind of helpful in getting a sense of what to expect from classes. My recommendation would be to get your non-law reading done this summer. You might find catching up with Game of Thrones installments more difficult once classes start.

2. Consider investing in a suit. Even if you see yourself as being more of a Vinny Gambini type of lawyer (reference: My Cousin Vinny. If you haven’t seen this movie, you may want to add it to your docket), a suit will still be handy to have for networking events, formal dinners, or interviews.

3. Having a laptop might make life easier. In undergrad, I was a strict pen-and-paper note taker, but I find a laptop handy because I type faster than I write, and law professors impart a lot of knowledge in a short amount of time. Also, you have an option of writing exams on your laptop at UBC Law.

4. I would also encourage you to speak to our super-friendly UBC Law Student Ambassadors if you have questions as a prospective or admitted UBC Law student (click here).

5. Have fun! Do something interesting this summer! I worked my whole summer before law school, and while I don’t regret it, I envied peers who went on fun escapades the summer before law school and had amazing stories to tell during Orientation Week.


Networking Tips for the Awkward

I have an admission: networking terrifies me. Wine and cheese functions give me serious anxiety. I’ve observed other students networking like pros, charming everyone in their wake and carrying reams of business cards. I am not that person. However, I’ve managed to get past that and find some value in going out of my comfort zone to meet people. On some occasions I’ve even enjoyed it and have found it to be a valuable experience (for more about the value of networking, check out Beverly’s post).

During the wine and cheese functions I’ve been to, my palms have been sweaty from nervousness and I’ve been scared to shake people’s hands. Either that or my hands are full and I have to do that awkward glance around to try to find a free space to dispose of my plate and glass. When I do shake hands, people invariably comment on my firm grip (a byproduct of rock climbing). I still have yet to perfect a segue from, “My, what strong hands you have.” I’ve even had someone draw back and shake out their hand as if they were in severe pain. Apologizing for crushing someone’s bones is usually an uncomfortable way to start a conversation. I can imagine that if it were the opposite and I had one of those weak handshakes that feels like a dead fish, the ensuing conversation would be equally awkward. This brings me to my first tip:

1. Seriously consider your handshake. Maybe try it out on a few friends. At a wine and cheese function you will likely shake a lot of hands, and if you are a bone crusher/dead fish, this may not play out in your favour.

Another thing I’ve mastered is making awkward jokes that rarely get a laugh. I can’t help it; when I’m nervous I try to diffuse the situation with humour. I like puns, but not everyone does. I’ve had a few uncomfortable silences as a result of this. Until you’ve truly gauged your audience, don’t try to make them laugh. So, my tip for the awkward:

2. You might be the world’s greatest stand-up comic in your own mind, but your mind doesn’t necessarily mimic reality. Save your jokes for later.

You might see an email about a wine and cheese function and think, man, I’ve only got $0.37 in my bank account. This is a great opportunity for a free feed. If you aren’t interested in meeting anyone, then game on. But, if you actually want to use the wine and cheese as a networking opportunity, don’t get too food-focused.

3. Know your purpose. Are you actually there to meet people, or are you there for the free food? If you are actually at a networking function with the purpose of networking, take advantage of the time when the hot food first comes out to introduce yourself to a few people. Many other students will be weaving in and out of the crowd chasing crab cakes.  However, if your purpose is to get a free feed, get in there early! Keep an eye on the door and suss out your hot food options. 

One of my worst mistakes has been going up to an employer’s booth and starting a conversation purely because there was no one else there. This is not in and of itself a bad thing to do, but I once went up and spoke with someone from a firm that specialized in Securities Law for ages. I realized early on in the conversation that I had absolutely no idea what securities law was. I just nodded along and said, “Oh, that sounds interesting,” at what I figured were appropriate moments. I gained very little from the experience, and I’m sure that the person talking to me could tell that I was only half there.

4. Learn a bit about which firms you’re interested in and who you want to talk to. If you have a purpose, this will likely make you feel less awkward. Do some research and think of some questions you might want to ask. By doing this, you can learn quite a lot of interesting things about what life might be like working in different areas of the law.

Networking need not be a source of anxiety. It can be a perfectly enjoyable experience provided that you go prepared and with a clear focus. 

Good luck, and happy networking!

I Know What You Did Last Summer

If you are a 1L, chances are you’ve been thinking about your summer plans lately. In deciding what you may want to do, considering all you’ve been through so far in first year, you have probably considered one/a combination of the Usual Suspects: a law-related job, a non-law related job, research, volunteering, traveling, switching to medical school, or simply attaining 8 daily hours of a mythical entity known as sleep.

Besides having to choose which lunch-time event to attend based on its free food’s quality (Panago v. Samosas), figuring out what I want to do after first year has been the toughest decision I’ve had to make for a while. I’m going to share some of my thoughts about the whole thing-the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly- in hopes that it may be helpful, or at least minimally impair your right to be amused by blogs.

The financial benefit of choosing to work over other options of the non-paying variety is obvious. Law school is an expensive endeavour and Vancouver is not a cheap city in which to live. Our collective debt is simply rather Big. So this first observation is nothing Earth-shattering.

My second observation from talking to past students, lawyers, and recruiters is that students are not expected to do a full time law-related job after their first year of law school. Most firms do not have specific positions for first year students, and most recruiters do not count lack of a law-related job as a fatal flaw in your application. On the other hand, some lawyers have advised me that having a law-related job is a good choice for people whose marks may not exactly be Smokin’ Aces coming out of first year.

Of course, your first summer’s plans shouldn’t be wholly dictated by whether they will help you secure a job after law school. Your interests and values should obviously play a role, too. Research, for example, is a great way to explore and develop your interest in a particular area of law, while applying some of your shiny new legal skills. Catching up on or getting involved in volunteering opportunities which first year’s busyness may have kept you from is also another great option. For some, a long break from any school or academic work may be just The Thing to de-stress from first year, while others can’t wait to further immerse themselves in the field. And of course, for those of you like me who are perpetually in a state of Wanderlust, four months of break is the perfect opportunity to globetrot.

The point is that there are many options available, and most of them are good for you. You can go down conventional paths, or do Something New. I have come to learn that the whole process of getting to and going through law school includes having to make some important decisions without having all the information you may want. It is about making the best possible choice with limited information, accepting that there is no way to know with certainty The Road which is best. Kind of like those multiple choice questions, where 5 out of 5 answers are correct, but 2 of them are just correct, 2 of them are extra correct, and one of them is slightly more correct than the extra correct ones. Be honest about what you want and try to keep as many doors open as possible. And all you have to do before getting on with your summer adventures are a few little tests. Also, The Lord of the Rings. There, I really wanted to use that one and couldn’t fit it in the dominant subject matter of this post for the life of me.

10 Reasons to Get Involved from 10 Students

I thought I would give you some fresh perspective by asking 10 amazing peers who volunteer in the law school community to briefly share their thoughts with you about why they get involved or why it is an invaluable experience to do so.

Disclaimer: There are lots of ways to get involved and it certainly does not have to be a law-related extracurricular activity. The following is just a snapshot of what opportunities are available at Allard Hall.

Campaign paraphernalia from students getting involved in Law Student Society (LSS) Elections

“A legal education is only partially complete if it is without the extracurricular activities. There is a lot to learn beyond the concepts taught in the classroom.  Getting involved has taught me a lot about the actual practice of law and has given me insight on what type of law I enjoy practicing.” – Clinic Head, UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program

LSLAP gave me a great opportunity to learn how to work with and manage clients. I liked having the opportunity to go to court and represent a client. You can sign up for files on areas of law you are interested in.” – Clinician, UBC Law Students’ Legal Advice Program

“Participating in pro bono is a great way to explore areas of law you may be interested in. It really opens you to the diversity of issues that are current and important to the legal profession in that field” – Pro Bono Student, West Coast Environmental Law

“Through my placement I came to really appreciate the skills we were learning in Legal Research and Writing and regular contact with the lawyers there was an invaluable exposure to the day to day of practicing law” – Pro Bono Student, West Coast Environmental Law

“I like being part of ILSA because it is a great community brimming with diverse people. ILSA puts on several events throughout the year so there are many different ways to become involved, as well as other unique opportunities I never would have heard of!” – Member, Indigenous Law Students’ Association 

“UBC Legal Education Outreach was fun. I enjoyed going back to high school to speak to students about the law and about law school. I received good feedback from the class; I feel it was a learning experience for everyone.” – Presenter, UBC Legal Education Outreach Program

“The reason I joined the club is because its a refreshing opportunity to get away from all the books while doing something meaningful!” – President, UBC Asia-Pacific Law Club

“I felt so welcomed by everyone when I started at Allard that I wanted to return the favor for incoming students.” – UBC Law Ambassador

“Volunteering allows me to broaden my horizons and to explore my strengths and weaknesses in non-academic settings.” – UBC Law Careers Committee Representative

“Joining Law Review is a great way to hone the legal research and writing skills you learn during your first year. It also gives you a chance to contribute to a reputable legal journal, and to get to know upper year students!” – Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief, UBC Law Review 

UBC Law Alumni Magazine


UBC Alumni Mag

While many of us are far from being UBC Law Alumni, I stumbled upon a hard copy of the annual volume distributed to former law students globally and I found that it was full of interesting and encouraging material.

Instead of reading it from the perspective of an established lawyer in the community, I found that there is much inspiration to be gleaned from its pages by reading about all of the amazing things that UBC Law can lead to. And in the very least it will show you that generations of people made it all the way through law school and learned to tell the tale.

I encourage you to click on this link and flip through the online version(s) and get some ideas for your future!

Shaking It Up – Life on Exchange in Christchurch

Here in Christchurch, New Zealand, the semester has just begun. My extended Christmas vacation has finally ended and I’m embarking on a new experience and adding another student card to my already extensive quiver. It’s hard not to miss the immaculate classrooms and conveniences of Allard Hall, but I’m really looking forward to the experience of studying in Christchurch. Last week we international students had our induction and welcome, and amongst the eager new faces (some as young as 16!) I felt like somewhat of a veteran. Not only am I a bit older than some of the students here, but I was in Christchurch for its first big earthquake in 2010, so when our welcome lecture opened with cautionary notes about what to do in the event of an earthquake, I didn’t feel the need to panic. Growing up in Vancouver also means that you get to be somewhat of a duck-and-cover expert, given the yearly earthquake drills. We’ve had a few little quakes since I’ve been here, but nothing too terrifying. Residents of Christchurch have developed a pretty relaxed (and typically Kiwi) attitude towards these little tremors, and puns about the ‘city that rocks’ or ‘shaking things up’ are hugely popular.

It seems that there are many ways to help Christchurch rebuild and develop from the earthquake. There is a ‘Student Volunteer Army’ which helps with various rebuild projects, and even a class called ‘Christchurch 101’ which allows students to participate in rebuild projects for credit. It’s nice to see the community strengthened and united despite the earthquake’s destruction. (Side note: we should name earthquakes. It sounds better to say ‘the destruction caused by Sandy’ rather than ‘the destruction caused by the earthquake’. Maybe there should be a threshold – say anything over a 6 on the richter scale gets a name?).

The author enjoying a trail run in Christchurch’s Port Hills.

Life at Canterbury University has its differences to UBC, but also a few familiar themes. Next week will commemorate the second anniversary since ‘the earthquake’, and campus is still busy with construction crews and clusters of temporary buildings. This is a familiar sight to someone from UBC’s perpetually under-construction campus, and in particular to students who moved into Allard Hall while the building wasn’t quite ready for us. One difference I’ve been quite excited about is that the campus security patrollers ride Segways. Segways! I didn’t know those existed outside of Arrested Development (the greatest show ever to grace television screens). I am considering applying for a security job just so I can rip around campus on one. A career in law vs. a career on a segway? I think there is a clear winner here.

I’ve been nervously anticipating the first day of classes, wondering what the study of law in a different country would bring. I was worried that things would quickly get out of my depth, that professors would refer to unfamiliar cases, and that I would make mistakes about the structure of the New Zealand court system. Imagine my surprise when we spent a significant part of my first lecture (on the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act) discussing the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms! When the professor (as it turns out, a UBC alumnus) asked if any of us were familiar with the Oakes test, I shot my hand up excitedly. As it turns out, Canada is kind of a big deal for our entrenched Charter.

This is my second exchange to New Zealand, having attended the University of Otago for a year as part of my Bachelor of Arts at UBC. I’ve been curious to see if there is a significant difference in the culture of arts students and the culture of law students. I remember distinctly being classed as ‘that American nerd’ by a number of my Kiwi classmates during my previous exchange, as I was often the only student who spoke in class (and let’s face it, no one can tell the difference between Canadians and Americans). It seemed that speaking in class was just not the done thing – even when professors were posing specific questions. I didn’t really mind being the outspoken stand out in class; I wasn’t there to look cool in front of my class mates, and as a result I gained favour with my professors, who became very useful references when I began my law school applications. The silent approach to learning that characterized my previous exchange definitely contrasted my experience as a UBC Arts student, but even more so my experience as a UBC Law student. I have found my classmates at Allard Hall to be inquisitive, vocal, and generally actively engaged in class discussion. In my experience so far at the University of Canterbury’s law school, the students seem to be fairly vocal and engaged. I’m finding this to be a relief as I dread that moment when the professor poses a question and everyone looks at their feet/computer/notebook/phone.

While I wish that there was a button on Facebook that would allow me to block the words ‘skiing’, ‘snow’, and ‘powder’ from appearing on my news feed, I’m still happily soaking up the New Zealand summer sun and looking forward to an exciting semester.

Evening sun in the Port Hills above Christchurch, New Zealand.

A Quick Q and A with Galit A. Sarfaty

A Quick Q and A with Galit A. Sarfaty

Professor Galit A. Sarfaty, who is an expert in human rights and public and private international law, joined UBC Law last July. We sat down a few weeks ago for a short Q and A about her research.

In the Spring of 2014, Professor Sarfaty will be leading a new workshop on Global Governance. This course, which has been funded by the Franklin Lew Innovation Fund, will feature about six international scholars as guest lecturers who will present their latest cutting-edge research. There will hopefully be opportunities for students to interact with these scholars outside of the classroom at dinner.

This Q and A gives a sense of the topics explored in a seminar that she taught this past fall (Law 324D – Topics in International Law and Transactions: Human Rights in International Business). This particular seminar will also be offered next year and having taken it, I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in human rights or corporate social responsibility (CSR).

EF: Many companies voluntarily publish reports on their human rights and environmental performance. Your research has explored the use of quantitative indicators to measure human rights performance. Can you explain what indicators are exactly?

GS: Indicators are second-order abstractions of statistical information, which are used to evaluate performance.  I recently wrote a paper that looked at the role of indicators in decision making. I focused on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) , which is a private transnational body that has produced the leading standard for corporate sustainability reporting.  The GRI guidelines are used by more than three-quarters of the Global Fortune 250 companies to report on their social, environmental and economic performance. The guidelines currently contain 79 indicators, which are mostly quantitative. To give an example, one of the GRI’s indicators measures the total hours of employee training on policies and procedures concerning human rights.  Of course, indicators are becoming increasingly important to decision making in many other contexts. Law school rankings also rely on indicators, for example.

EF:  What are the advantages and disadvantages of using indicators to measure human rights?

The usefulness of indicators lies in their simplicity. They are easy to understand. Indicators help assess compliance with standards and progress toward meeting objectives. It is also easier to compare actors when they are assigned straightforward numbers or grades.

Unfortunately, with these benefits come costs.

For one thing, indicators can promote superficial compliance. In the context of the GRI, companies are currently assigned a grade of A, B or C based simply on the number of indicators that they have disclosed on but not on their actual performance. Companies might focus on achieving the best grade, without addressing their underlying practices.

Secondly, values such as human rights may be distorted when converted into numbers.  To truly measure human rights, you need to supplement quantitative data with nuanced and qualitative information. You would want to have people on the ground – field experts who know the country, anthropologists, or lawyers – to really determine if a company’s project is violating human rights.

Having said that, I don’t think that reporting information through indicators is a bad thing. It’s simply insufficient. To get a full picture, I think you need to have a combination of quantitative and qualitative reporting.

EF: One of your current projects examines the recently enacted Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the Dodd-Frank Act), which brought about significant changes to securities regulation in the United States. A provision of this Act requires companies that file with the SEC to make annual disclosures if their products use certain conflict minerals.

GS: Right … so what’s unique about this particular Dodd Frank provision (section 1502) is that it is the first mandatory regulation dealing with human rights issues for companies in the US. In fact, the provision that you mentioned (there is another relating to revenue transparency among extractive companies) applies to all publicly-traded US companies that may be manufacturing products involving conflict minerals. In contrast, GRI reporting is voluntary in most countries… certainly this is the case in Canada and the US.

EF: Apart from being mandatory, how does this Dodd-Frank requirement compare to the kinds of reports that large Multi-National Companies already publish? Is this Dodd-Frank requirement more onerous?

GS: This particular Dodd-Frank provision requires companies to conduct human rights due diligence if there is a chance that their products use certain minerals that are supporting the conflict in the Congo. They must disclose the information in their securities filings.

It’s one thing to require a company to file a GRI report (some are long, some are short and they are often not verified)…but it’s quite another thing to require a company to perform due diligence, which is much more intensive. In addition, third party auditing is required under section 1502. Finally, there is liability attached to non-compliance. That’s really a first, and it forces companies to be transparent with regard to their supply chain and ensure that their practices are not supporting the conflict in the Congo.

EF:  What is the likely effect on companies’ behaviour?

I think that there’s great potential for the law to lead to positive changes in corporate practices and corporate culture. Securities law is the point of entry into a firm’s operations and part of the culture of a company is complying with these laws.  Not only do firms have an institutional structure for securities compliance, but they also use enterprise risk management technology systems that can easily accommodate the inclusion of additional risks, such as human rights.

EF: Are Canada and other countries likely to adopt similar legislation mandating disclosure on human rights performance?

GS: In 2010, Bill C-571, which was similar to the Dodd Frank conflict minerals provision, was tabled in Parliament. There is movement in the EU to pass a similar provision, but understandably, people are waiting to see what happens in the US with the Dodd Frank rules.

Having said that, there is another Dodd-Frank rule—1504—that requires natural resource companies to disclose their payments to foreign governments.  There is much more movement on this standard in Canada. There is currently a working group of industry and NGO representatives that is meeting regularly to develop a strategy for a similar policy in Canada.

But think about the timeline of these developments. The Dodd-Frank Act was passed in 2010 and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the global standard on corporate accountability, only came out in 2011.  So these are just the first steps in a larger movement, and I anticipate that there will be many developments in coming years. Everyone is holding their breath to see what happens next.

 – by Emmanuel Fung and Galit A. Sarfaty



About a Moot.

As the title of this post, which should be read in a Canadian accent, suggests, it is moot week at UBC Law for 1Ls! This is the week where we get to wear robes, be called ‘Counsel’, and generally act like we are already lawyers.

I have now finished my moot and thought I would share some of my observations about the whole process, from the day the factum was assigned all the way to the judgement delivered after 2.5 hours of arguments.

1. I had fun! Like most of my fellow 1Ls, this was my first moot, and I was nervous about the whole thing. However, I found myself really enjoying the mooting and especially the questions from the bench. Interacting with the judges made me feel like I was actually arguing a case, rather than giving a prepared presentation.

2. It was a great learning experience. I learned how to write a factum, right after learning how to spell ‘factum’ (there are at least two awkward autocorrects you may encounter). I learned how to apply and distinguish cases and how to frame their application to facts in a persuasive way. Incidentally, I also learned that you are not supposed to nod along when anyone speaks in court. It’s considered to be verifying what they are saying and also too conversational. Being a habitual nodder in lectures/conversations, I’ll definitely have to work on keeping a stiff neck in court.

3. Anticipating questions is a very good skill to have. It’s great to have a solid and thorough submission, but there are always questions, and the more of them you have thought about, the more readily you will be able to answer them. Incorporating your cases sufficiently into your answers also makes your response that much more persuasive.

4. It is so much fun to be able to say ‘My Lord’ and ‘My Lady’ in real life. How often do you get to do that? ‘Not often’ is the answer if you’re a reasonable person. (We’ve pegged down what ‘reasonable person’ means already, right?)

5. The moots exemplify the giving nature of this profession. Dozens of lawyers and other members of this field took time out from their busy lives to read our factums, read the cases, come out to UBC, and listen to us moot our way through the whole evening. I’m genuinely appreciative of everyone who gives their time so we can have this fun learning experience.

6. Wearing robes is an acquired skill. They are somehow attracted to getting stuck on furniture. Multiple times.