"May it please the Court..."
Today was a historic occasion: First Year Moot Court. Every first year law student everywhere (I think) does it. As soon as you decide you're going to law school you know there's Moot Court in your future. First you write an appellate brief arguing a position, and then eventually you end up in a role-played trial situation arguing before a panel of judges. It can be daunting the first time: it's public speaking compounded by formality, demand for persuasiveness, and a potentially constant battery of questions hurled by the judges.
I did fairly well, so the judges told me afterwards. I did feel like I'd done a reasonable job as well, although not without a few stumbles. Nothing too significant given that it was a first time, but some of my best points backwards out came sometimes. And I didn't have just cotton mouth - sometimes it felt like cotton brain. But I fielded the questions reasonably well without undermining my argument. The hardest part of the whole thing was sitting still for 45 minutes after I'd given my argument while everyone else gave theirs.
Yet it all feels very anticlimactic and I find myself incredibly annoyed at the law school. It may not be constructive to complain here but I'm feeling impetuous so I will anyway.
The judges' panel was to include 3 people: two students and either a law practitioner or professor. But at the time we were to start our professor didn't show up. I hope there wasn't something serious which prevented her from being there, but my personal concern is that the school did not replace her with anyone else. The two students were very good, asking good questions and providing reasonable feedback afterward. But they were second year law students. Hardly the same thing as someone with decades of experience. This is the only moot court I'm required to do while in law school, and though I might do some of the extracurricular ones in later years, I could conceivably graduate without ever having the benefit of professional feedback in this area. Given how expensive law school is, I consider that unacceptable, especially since all my other classmates presumably got that benefit. And given how much work went in to leading up to today, it was also disappointing.
If I seem particularly sour it's also because I nearly got into an argument with the person running the program earlier in the day. We were to receive our opponents' brief a week before the arguments to help us prepare but there was no clear communication on exactly how we were to get our hands on it. I tried tracking it down last week but it was a fruitless effort. I again went today to get it and was nearly completely stymied again, though thankfully not (I won the near-argument). I'm annoyed because this exercise was too important - and too stressful - an experience to have been administered so imperfectly.