Have you ever signed up for something and during the process thought “never doing this again”? That was me for the past 2 months during our moot court competition. However, when everything came together at oral argument this past Friday (Feb. 12th) I enjoyed every second of it. Now that it’s over, I am so glad I put myself through that experience. This competition was 100% the most difficult I had ever been involved in, but also the most rewarding.
A little background.
Moot Court is an honor society to which you can “grade on” or “write on”. Once in the organization, you sign-up for a competition. I chose immigration because my ultimate goal is to become an immigration attorney. The excitement begins when your problem “drops”. My partner and I received our problem on December 18th. Our brief was due January 31st and, you guessed it, we researched and wrote up until the last second. But wait there is more. Then came oral argument preparation. We had 1 day to prepare our argument outlines because we began “mooting” the following day. Our coach had several moots lined up for us. We had no time to lose because oral argument was in less than 2 weeks. Even though we are currently completely virtual, our professors and Widener staff were more than willing to help us moot. We were even allowed to do our oral argument on campus. Having the technology and court-like atmosphere helped mentally prepare us for what was coming. We had 3 oral arguments and it was absolutely amazing because I was able to demonstrate that I knew the law and that we, as respondent, had the better argument.- Obviously!
This competition absorbed so much of my time, but all the time and work I put into the competition allowed me to enjoy oral arguments because I knew I was prepared. I am in my final semester of my 2L year and this competition has been one of the best experiences. There were many times during this competition that I questioned myself- did I find all the relevant cases, am I missing something, how should I answer that question, how do I organize what I want to say, etc. I am so proud of myself for getting through my fears and this competition. I’m so thankful to be a part of the Widener community. The support we received from all the professors, staff, alumni, and administration was unbelievable.
Definitely give Moot Court a try, you might regret it during the process, but I assure you – it will be one of the best things you do in your law school career.
I am Daina Pizarro, a 3L at Widener. I am involved in several extracurriculars on campus and off campus.
I am the President of the Federal Bar Association, the Vice President and Treasurer of Trial Advocacy Honors Society, Vice President of Criminal Law Society, Vice President of the Latin American Law Student Association, Vice President of the Veterans Association, Student Ambassador, and on the schools National Trial Team.
I intern at Crisp & Associates, LLC which is a military defense firm, and nanny for two families part time.
There are many reasons I am so involved. 1) I love to be busy, staying busy forces me to have great time management; 2) extracurriculars make you well rounded and set you apart from others; 3) I love taking leadership, being on the executive board of the organization I am a part of gets me a chance to move the org in the direction I want them to go; 4) it gives me experiences you can’t get solely in the classroom; 5) it gives me a break from law school work; and 6) I can am linked up with other students who have similar interests as me!
I am here to tell you, get out there, try new things, and try things that you are interested in. It is possible be involved and still get good grades. So go for it! Go to the interest meetings, go to the happy hours, and get involved. It has made be a better law student, a better future lawyer, and an overall well rounded person. There is a organization on campus for anything you can think of and anything you are interested in. If there is not an organization, you can start one!
I am Randi Teplitz, the Assistant Dean of Students at Widener Law Commonwealth. I am so pleased to write this post so I can brag about our campus community, and most importantly the students who make our law school such a special place.
I am fortunate that I get to work directly with our students on a daily basis. Because of this, I get to witness both their passion towards the law and their education, as well as, the compassion and generosity that they regularly show each other. Law school can be a competitive environment that inhibits the forming of friendships and the building of meaningful community. However, that is not who we are. I am proud to say that is not the culture of Widener Law Commonwealth.
Our students help each other. They recognize the value of lifting each other up, rather than tearing each other down. Upperclassmen mentor the 1Ls, they serve as peer advisors, Academic Support Fellows, and are always willing to offer their wisdom by participating in student panel discussions, recording podcasts, or by blogging. Time is a limited commodity as a law student, but our students always make time for each other.
Our students also lead active and robust student organizations. Are you interested in Law & Government, Business Law, Criminal Law, or Environmental Law? We have the organization for you! Looking for something more social? Check out the Student Bar Association or the Program for Health, Exercise & Wellness (PHEW). Passionate about community service? The Public Interest Law Society will be right up your alley. Ready to tackle social justice and inclusivity issues? Join the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA), the Asian Pacific American Law Student Association (APALSA), or the Women’s Law Caucus! These are just SOME of the organizations that we have on our campus and if we do not have it–CREATE it.
At Widener Law Commonwealth, we offer a small personalized environment that is BIG on student engagement.
I have the best job in the world because I get to work with our amazing students. I can’t wait for you to meet them!