Practice Makes Perfect

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Hello everyone!

My name is Julie Johnson, I am a 2L student and I am fortunate enough to be a part of Valparaiso Law’s International Moot Court Society (IMC). Next Tuesday, I will be traveling to Mumbai, India, with my teammate, Justin Ezell; our coach, Richard Bogdan; and Valpo Law’s Director of Graduate and International Programs, Julie Foster. Justin and I will be competing in the 15th Annual D.M. Harish Memorial Government Law College International Moot Court Competition. Last year, Valpo Law’s team went undefeated and claimed the first place trophy and the award of Best Oralist. This year, Justin and I hope to do the same!

Our team started working together in the middle of October, after our annual intraschool competition. We spent our first two months together working through the case study as a team, in order to ensure that we had a strong understanding of the facts and the legal issues presented. Justin and I each spent our Christmas break working on a separate legal brief, as each of us wrote the entirety of one state’s arguments. This was very time-consuming, as our briefs came out at around 40 pages each. Additionally, researching and writing for international law is quite different than it is for domestic law, as international law is not as plentiful and is not as readily available as domestic law.

Since we returned from Christmas break, we have been practicing our oral arguments daily. Richard, as our coach, poses questions to us throughout our presentations, which is what we can expect from our judges at competition. Because each competitor is required to argue for each state before the court, we have fully delved into the facts and law in order to strongly advocate for both parties. This evening was our “send-off” moot, a requirement for each IMC team shortly before it leaves for competition. Dean Stuart and Professors Murray and Telman were gracious enough to act as our panel of judges tonight, and gave us constructive feedback at the conclusion. Having an assortment of team members and others outside the organization to act as judges has given us the opportunity to be presented with a wide variety of questions and opinions, which has been greatly beneficial to our own understanding of our arguments.

We will continue to practice on a daily basis until our departure on Tuesday, along with packing and preparing for the “vacation” aspect of the trip! All of us are looking forward to seeing Mumbai and being embraced as a part of the Indian culture during our stay. We have heard many wonderful things about the hospitality of the organizers of the competition, and are truly expecting a one-of-a-kind experience. I will be sure to update this blog frequently to give you an idea of our final preparation and our progress during the competition, hopefully including some commentary from Justin and Richard along the way.

Thank you for following along with our journey, and go IMC!



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