Cayman students attend Florida law clinic

Truman Bodden Law School student Craig Thomas, far right, with students from law schools throughout the Caribbean and the United States, at the American and Caribbean Law Initiative clinic in Fort Lauderdale earlier this month.

Three students from the Truman Bodden Law School and the schools’ director of legal studies, Mitchell Davies, attended a Caribbean Law Clinic in Florida this month.

They visited the Nova South Eastern Law School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where the students were taking part in the law clinic organized by the American and Caribbean Law Initiative – an association of six southern U.S. law schools and four Caribbean law schools.

In addition to the Truman Bodden Law School, the member organizations are: Norman Manley Law School (Jamaica); Eugene Dupuch Law School (Bahamas); Hugh Wooding Law School (Trinidad); Thurgood Marshall Law School (Texas); Charlotte School of Law (North Carolina); Florida International University, Nova South Eastern University, Florida Coastal Law School and Stetson Law School (Florida).

According to a press release from the Truman Bodden Law School, the Caribbean Law Clinic flagship event “exposes students to valuable advocacy training, requiring them to make legal arguments to an experienced panel of judges which often include members of the local judiciary.”

In the program, students are placed into teams with their peers from the other law schools rather than with students from their own school, “encouraging team building skills and collaborative techniques,” according to the release.

“The questions set for oral argument at each clinic all concern practical legal issues and are usually set by members of the Attorney General’s Chambers of the host organization, often being based upon real cases which may even be ongoing. This leads to the second unique feature of the clinics: the advice given by students is required to focus on (for most participants) foreign law and procedure. As well as testing students’ legal research skills, this requirement therefore provides invaluable exposure to foreign legal rules,” the release continued.

Mr. Davies described the clinic as “a unique and valuable legal research and advocacy experience.”

Second year LL.B students Craig Thomas, Everton Spence and Danny Shebaclo from the Cayman law school presented their arguments to a panel of judges drawn mainly from the Florida District Attorney’s Office.

Mr. Thomas, speaking on behalf of all Truman Bodden participants at the Nova Clinic, said in the release, “It was an absolute pleasure to work in collaboration with such bright and talented individuals. The problem we tackled revolved around terrorism, immigration, and complex pieces of United States legislation such as the Patriot Act 2001.

“Pointed questions from the judges really made you think on your feet and helped to sharpen our oral advocacy skills. The overall demonstration of skill, passion, and knowledge by my fellow teammates and competitors was truly inspiring.”

The next institution to host the Caribbean Law Clinic will be the Hugh Wooding Law School, Trinidad, in March 2017.

Second year LL.B students Craig Thomas, Everton Spence and Danny Shebaclo from the Cayman law school presented their arguments to a panel of judges drawn mainly from the Florida District Attorney’s Office.

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