Laurier Moot Court rises to the top at McGill Moot Court Case Competition

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Laurier’s Moot Court Club stood out against competitors at the sixth annual McGill Moot Court Invitational as competitors Madeleine Cleland and Laura Goldfarb took home first place, a first-time feat for Laurier.

Goldfarb also placed first individually for her oral advocacy skills, and teammates Sam Stewart and Gabriel Wilson placed just behind Goldfarb and Cleland taking home the second-place honour.

“I think the goal is always to win, I think we felt that way at Capital Cup when we competed in Ottawa in November, we really wanted to win and we carried on that ambition because our success there was actually what got us invited to McGill,” said Madeleine Cleland.

“That really fuelled our fire to have that ambition to win but winning in general was an astronomical feeling. We put in so much work in the weeks preceding the competition that it was such a validating experience.”

Moot court is a simulation where two opposing duos, this time from different schools, are put through an appeals experience and test their understandings of law in a real case.

“The other schools like the University of Toronto or McGill always win these competitions and always do really well so Laurier didn’t have that reputation of being a winning school, the fact we won and have done well in other competitions this year is really special,” said Laura Goldfarb.

Many of the moot court participants are law or political science students, but Laurier’s Moot Court Club is open to any student interested in law practices.

Invitation to the McGill competition was based on Cleland and Goldfarb’s performance in the quarterfinals of the Capital Cup Undergraduate Mooting Competition in Ottawa in November.

The duo outscored another successful pair from the University of Toronto, solidifying the hard work Laurier has put in to make a name for themselves in the moot court world.

“There’s a totally different atmosphere when you’re actually competing versus when you’re meeting people between rounds because competing you’re trying to undermine your opponents and view them as adversaries,” Cleland said.

The club, created in 2017, aims to give students real world experience in the law field to ensure students are prepared for life after undergrad.

The club will be sending ten teams who will compete on Feb. 8 and 9 in Toronto during the University of Toronto cup and they hope to repeat their success from Montreal.

“Laura and I both only joined as executive members last year in third year, it was such a drastic change, even if I could compare it to how I was succeeding in my course work, things I would deal with in political science were the exact same issues we would deal with in a case,” Cleland said.

“It prepared me to be able to finish my course material quicker, and taking these skills into the career field or going to law school, it also helped me realize that this is something that I wanted to do; a lot of people don’t get the opportunity to do that.”

The final test for Laurier will be the Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition, taking place at Osgoode Law School at the beginning of March and will be the last competition for many seniors like Cleland and Goldfarb.

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