Up until now, mooting – a type of model legal debate, designed to give undergrads experience arguing legal issues – has largely been the territory of law students.
Sure, Humber paralegal students have competed – and done well – in major mooting competitions in the past, winning individual oralist awards as well as placing in the “Elite Eight” over the years. Humber has consistently been the only college participating in national competitions such as The Capital Cup, hosted by Carleton University and the Osgoode Cup, hosted by York.
For the most part, though, Humber’s students have been mooting outliers.
All that changes this weekend.
Humber and the Paralegal Society of Ontario will be hosting the Intercollegiate Mooting Competition – the first ever specifically for paralegal students – on November 23 and 24 at the Lakeshore Campus. Two-person teams from across the GTA will be participating, including groups from Centennial College, Seneca College and the Canadian Business College.
“The paralegal profession has had a big year, as the Law Society of Ontario recently granted paralegals the authority to be Commissioners of Oaths,” explains event organizer Fallon Burns, student director of the Paralegal Society of Ontario and a third-year paralegal degree student. “This is an opportunity to move the profession forward, and to give students a sense of what advocating in front of a judge feels like.”
The moot will involve four rounds of mooting in the first day, and the semi-final and final rounds on the second day. Competitors will be judged by legal professionals such as judges, lawyers or law professors. As well, four guest speakers from the paralegal profession will present during a gala dinner on Saturday night.
“Mooting teaches valuable lessons in thinking on your feet, analyzing an issue and dealing with incredible stress, and it’s an unforgettable experience for students,” says Fallon. “The event this weekend is making history. How often do you get to be the first to do something?”
Image: Third-year paralegal degree student Fallon Burns, organizer of the first Intercollegiate Mooting Competition