A couple of weeks ago, I took part in a legal moot. I learned on Tuesday that I'd passed it (as required to graduate). Today, I received my evaluation. I've included it below. I reckon the assessments are all fair, and perhaps on the generous side. I would probably have scored better had I stuck to my prepared speech. But, as I was senior counsel for the respondents, I spoke last. Which gave me nearly 40 minutes listening to the arguments of the other three counsel, during which I realised that I had a far better defence, indeed, an unbeatable one, if I took a different tack.
As a result, I essentially rewrote my speech during the reclaimer’s senior counsel's speech. Which meant that my speech, in the end, was mostly extempore mixture of my initial speech, which focused on applying the Caparo rules, with the aim of distinguishing Gibson (and pleading no negligence), and my new argument, which essentially denied any duty of care altogether (on the grounds that there was no identifiable group to whom an offer of protection had been made) . So I was a probably more than a little garbled, and also a little rushed, as I was, to a large degree, thinking on my feet.
|Structure/content of legal argument/formulation into appropriate submissions
Good legal content.
Structure could have been improved slightly.
Particularly good arguments re: the present facts.
|Use of authorities
Gibson well distinguished, cases cited well.
|Presentation and teamwork
Presentation and teamwork generally proficient.
Try to slow down slightly, esp. with most important arguments.
|Response to judge's interventions
Excellent, well explained responses to interventions
|General advocacy skills
Generally convincing argument throughout, could have been improved slightly, as above.
In the end, I actually rather enjoyed the experience. The standing up and presenting the case was the most fun part; the slog beforehand in the library, hunting down citations and cases, wasn't nearly as exciting, although it was challenging. But if I hadn't done that to prepare, I'd not have had my inspiration while listening to the other speeches. I may even do it all again - voluntarily.
Elsewhere on the course, today I had my last Property and Obligations lecture. Next week, I have two Roman Law lectures, one Family Law, and a couple of tutorials. And that's the teaching over for the year. All I have to do before the end of the academic year are three assignments - Family, and Unjustified Enrichment problems, and a Legal Methods exercise on the Cadder judgement. Oh, and just after Easter, there are three exams: Roman Law, Delict, and Public Law & Government. But once all that's over, I'll be halfway though the LLB - and heading towards my final year.
But between then and now, there's the long summer vac. And I still lack any kind of work, never mind a legal placement. Bother!
I'm very tired, and my head is almost full.