Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Cow Court

"Moo point?" 
"Yeah, it's like a cow's opinion. It doesn't matter...It's moo."

How can you hear the word, "moot" and not think of this classic Friends quote? You can't. So, clearly, when I went to write a post about my Moot Court experience, this is where my mind wandered.

Each year at Creighton, all second year students are enrolled in Legal Research and Writing III. Our final grade for the class is from an appellate brief we write based on a mock problem and court record. Then, everyone has to compete in a moot court competition where you present oral arguments on the issues addressed in your brief. Jen and I were partners for the competition.

It was such a whirlwind of an experience! We took the competition round-by-round, and were so grateful and overwhelmed each time we advanced.

Exciting news came on Saturday, October 27, when Jen and I found out we were advancing to the final round against our good friends, Toby and Nate. Toby is a third member of our study group and Nate serves as the Elders Quorum President in our ward, so we work closely. It was a relief knowing that we could enter the final round and come out genuinely happy about any outcome. 

Of course, the happiest outcome would have been to walk away with a "W." The round is still a bit of a blur, as we were arguing in front of an audience full of our peers and, more intimidatingly, in front of actual federal judges. 

The questions were hard, my words felt stumbly, and I have never felt the sense of accomplishment that overcame me when Judge Laurie Smith Camp announced Jen and me the winners. A second wave of shock followed when I was awarded outstanding oralist. 

It was a long and hard 8 days, but I felt carried through it by so much love and support. And maybe I'll regret saying this in two months, but the lower grades I'll receive this semester from such split focus will probably even be worth it :)

Well wishes from friends and family throughout the week made me feel loved and like my family was able to experience our success with me.

 The cash prize was also exciting.

Zipsie was thoroughly neglected the entire week, so my first purchase with my winnings was a new fancy pheasant toy for her. She destroyed it in approximately 3 minutes, but I'm sure she felt so loved and special while doing so :)

We also invested in matching wallets that are utterly beautiful. 

Aside from a lot of prayers and a little preparation, my main secret to success in law school lies in this ring. It belonged to my maternal grandmother, and my mom has had it for as long as I can remember. Shortly before I moved to Omaha, I was speaking in church with my mom and dad. As we sat on the stand during the opening hymn and announcements, I was distracted so I took the ring off my mom's finger and tried it on. She leaned over and said, "You can keep it." I protested at first, knowing the immense sentimental value of a ring that belonged to her mother. Then she said, "That way I'll always be with you in Nebraska." I cried, of course. I'm welling up again even as I write it. It meant the world to me. That ring has accompanied me to every final, every round of last year's negotiation competition, every round of moot court, every round of our current client counseling competition, and any day that just feels especially lonely. Competing in the final round without my family there to see was hard, but I had the ring. And just like always, it came through for me. I had Kate take this picture so my mom would know. 

Words can't express how blessed I feel. Not just because of winning the competition or the outpouring of love and support I received throughout it, but because I felt myself move closer to my potential as a result of this experience. I saw progress after each round. I felt the Lord stretching my talents and strengthening my weaknesses. I realized for the first time that I really might be good at the practical aspects of the law, reaffirming my feeling that I'm where I'm supposed to be. 


Lindsey Bitzes said...

Words can't express how much I love this post. Congrats again on the win; you ladies deserved it!

Jen said...

Wonderful post! So proud of you.

Contact: Ashley Mills said...

We all wished we could have been there to celebrate with you!

jess said...

Love this! You are awesome!

Melissa DeMoux said...

AWESOME!!!!! (Not sure how many exclamation marks I can pile on there before I look pathetic, but you get the idea,) Way to go, Wendy. You really are incredible...and that lovely ring story makes me cry. Am I allowed to feel proud of you, because I feel proud of you. Great job.

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