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Moots: What I Hoped For v What I Got

by Allana McComb (3L)

I always wanted to do a competitive moot and this semester I got the opportunity to participate in the Gale Cup. It was everything I had hoped for, with a lot that I didn’t want as well.

I was ecstatic that I would only have 4 courses left after reading week. What I didn’t anticipate was that my entire Christmas break was spent researching and writing my factum. As someone that is from out of province, this seriously cut into family and friends time.

I was also excited to work with my moot mentor and get in practice rounds before the big competition. What I didn’t factor in was that my mentor is a highly sought after appellant lawyer that spends a lot of time prepping and presenting to the Supreme Court. His advice was great, but I had to remember he had a life outside of the moot, even though the moot had become my life. Also, practice rounds are great, but I didn’t realize I would be doing eleven of them, between 2 and 5 hours each.

I knew a moot would let me become really knowledgeable in a specific area of law, and that did happen. I didn’t anticipate that R v Fearon from my 1L days would come back to haunt me. The issue I tried my hardest to avoid in 1L because I didn’t quite understand it or enjoy it became the predominate issue on my mind 24-7 for three months.

Mooting taught me three things: (1) It is a lot more work than people let on; you might end early in the semester but you make up the hours fast, so there is no real difference; (2) Practice rounds are enormously useful and help not just for the competition but with any other moot based course you take; and (3) the Central Canada conspiracy is real—we totally should have made it to the finals!

Regardless of the numerous hours spent wondering whether the police breached Mr. Fearon’s section 8 rights and how intrusive a search of a cellphone truly is, mooting was an amazing experience that was a lot of fun. And the free trip to Toronto didn’t hurt either!