Moot court builds students’ skills

Back row from left, Campbells senior associate Kirsten Houghton, Campbells senior associate James Austin-Smith and Campbells partner Mark Goodman. In the front row, from left, is Campbells senior associate Jeremy Durston, and students Shania Ebanks, Janessa Prendergast, Daniela Granados, Annika Brown, Anastassia Webster, Kayla Prendergast, Maya Smith, Aliana Dodds, Yoandra Carter and Matteo Polloni.

Aspiring legal professionals recently had the chance to test their mettle at a “moot court” competition.

As the sponsor of the St. Ignatius A-Level law program, for the second year in a row Campbells law firm worked with program instructor Rhian Minty to host the competition on March 8.

In a moot court, participants take part in simulated court proceedings, usually involving drafting memorials or memoranda and taking part in oral argument.

A press release states Campbells is in its fourth year of sponsoring the law program, which accepts students from both St. Ignatius and Cayman Prep School. This year, the firm again included a moot court event to the program’s schedule, as well as a tour of the courts and a sit-in on an active trial.

“As a student aspiring to be a lawyer, the moot has shown me a glimpse of the realities of the courtroom environment,” said St. Ignatius A-Level student and Team A Junior Counsel Janessa Prendergast.

“The opportunity was invaluable as I now have a clearer understanding to the extent of dedication and time it takes to fully develop a case that can withstand the pressures of opposition and scrutiny from the presiding judges. Preparing oneself, learning how to dress for a trial, address judges and coherently answer any questions asked was a lot of pressure but it was an excellent experience that I learned many valuable lessons from.”

For the moot court, the students were divided into two teams which covered the roles of claimants and respondents in a contract case.

Campbells senior associates James Austin-Smith and Kirsten Houghton played the role of the judges. The students also received advocacy training from litigation partner Mark Goodman and senior associate Jeremy Durston.

“James Austin-Smith and I were impressed with the students who appeared before us in the moot,” said Ms. Houghton.

She added, “We noticed significant progress in the standard of those whom we remembered from last year, and promise in the new candidates. The students had worked hard with Campbells mentors, Mark Goodman and Jeremy Durston, and it was very hard to choose the winning team.”

The law firm stated it was impressed with the caliber of students participating this year.

At the conclusion of the moot court, the attorneys were pleased to discover that at least three of the students now have offers to study for their law degrees in England, wishing them all the best in their future studies and careers.