If reading the textbooks is proving too dry and you are wondering what a true career in the legal industry is like, the Competitions Portfolio are your go-to peers. The AULSS runs an array of competitions, with the option to compete at the Australian Law Students’ Association Annual Conference.
Throughout the course of the year, professional skills competitions are run, and it is the perfect opportunity to learn and practice new skills, without the pressure of being in real life. Guest lawyers and past competition winners are called back to judge the competitions, providing an immensely beneficial experience for both participants and spectators. For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Herbert Smith Freehills Open Moot
Recommended for students in second-year and above.
In the Open Moot students compete as counsel in an appellate matter in a superior court. Students prepare written submissions over a week and then make oral arguments before judges. The judges will question students on the law and fact surrounding a particular point of appeal.
In the Open Moot, teams are made up of two people (senior and junior counsel) and are judged on their collective performance. Teamwork is key!
The competition is a fantastic stepping stone to other moots, such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal National Mooting Competition and the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.
*Azaara, Mitchell and Jake went on to win the National Championship at the ALSA Conference in Canberra. This is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly proud of our Mooters!
Herbert Smith Freehills.
Client Interview Competition
Recommended for students in all year levels (you can also volunteer in this competition by acting as a client).
In Client interviewing, teams of two interview a client about their legal matters. Upon walking into the room competitors know next to nothing about what has happened to the client. They are expected to draw out all the details and discover secret facts. They are also expected to make the client comfortable and adhere to all the formalities of legal interviewing. These include taking note of the personal details of the client, briefing the client on lawyer-client privilege and suggesting courses of action to solve the client’s problem.
*Gaida and Thomas went on to reach the National Semi-Finals at the ALSA Conference in Canberra.
Clayton Utz Negotiation
Recommended for students of all year levels.
In Negotiations, two teams of two solicitors meet to discuss a dispute between their clients. Each team is given a brief of secret facts about their client’s situation, including what the client wants and doesn’t want. It is the job of the solicitors to negotiate together in good faith to resolve the dispute in a way that makes both parties happy. For this reason, the winner is not necessarily the team that walks away with the best deal but the team who uses strategy and tactics to obtain the most favourable outcome.
Lipman Karas Witness Examination
Recommended for second years and above (you can also volunteer in this competition by acting as a witness).
In Witness Examination competitors simulate a civil or criminal trial. Most rounds are conducted in teams of two (senior and junior counsel) and one non-competitive witness for each side. Competitors are given witness statements and information 90 minutes before the trial commences and must prepare a short case in that time. They deliver opening statements to the judge, question witnesses and then summarise their case while attempting to put forward the best case possible. The competition involves quick thinking, improvisation and the ability to go toe-to-toe with a usually uncooperative witness!
Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot
This Moot is coordinated by Professor Dale Stephens as part of his elective ‘International Humanitarian Law’.
There are generally a few spots reserved for students who are not enrolled in the subject but wish to compete. Students with an interest in International Law are encouraged to participate.
Australian Red Cross.
Australian Government Solicitor First Year Moot
The AGS First Year Moot is open to all students in their first year of a Bachelor of Laws.
Mooting is a great way to meet new people, improve your public speaking skills and develop analytical problem-solving techniques. The competition will use problems based on torts and contract which will require presentation in front of judge. The competitions will be on Tuesday nights and the grand final is usually judged by judges from the Supreme, District or Federal courts.
Run in semester 2, this competition provides students with vital experience in arguing appeal cases. Topics are limited to the law of contracts, property and torts. After competing in the First Year Moot competition, having gained valuable experience and feedback as to their legal research and presentation skills students commonly progress to the open moot competition in later years.
Australian Government Solicitor.
The Novice Moot is open to all students who have not reached the finals stage of any other moot. However, because the competition features a broader array of practice areas than the First Year Moot, we recommend the Novice Moot for second-year students and above.
If you’re beyond your first year but you’re not quite confident enough for the Open Moot, the Novice Moot is a great place to start! Mooting is one of the best ways to improving your legal reasoning and public speaking skills. In the Novice Moot, competitors argue appellate cases by preparing their written submissions over a week-long period and then arguing their case before a judge. The competition features problems from an array of practice areas and it is judged by experienced lawyers and academics.
In the Novice Moot, teams are made up of two people (senior and junior counsel) but competitors are judged on their individual performance!