The UQLS Competitions portfolio, compared to other law societies, holds one of the most comprehensive set of legal competitions in the country. The UQLS offers mooting, negotiation, client interviewing and witness examination competitions that are split into two levels: junior and senior. Only first years are able to participate in the junior competitions, while the rest of the cohort are able to enter senior competitions. New initiatives in 2017, such Competition Tutorials video series, aim to push UQLS Competitions to an even higher standard.
The Competitions Handbook 2017 is a great resource for students intending to compete in UQLS competitions. Compiled with the help of senior students and graduates with a wealth of competitions experience, it prodives guidance on how to tackle each competition on offer and is an invaluable tool if you’re a first time competitor. The Handbook includes sample submissions and problems, and features testimonials from past competitors providing insight into all that UQLS Competitions has to offer.
Junior and Senior Moot
Mooting is a simulation of a courtroom scenario where teams, composed of a Senior Counsel, a Junior Counsel and an optional Instructing Solicitor act on behalf of a fictional client in a case on appeal. Teams must undertake research into the relevant area of law and form a concise set of written and oral submissions.
The Junior Moot, held in Semester 1, is the perfect opportunity to learn the ropes of mooting. Open exclusively to students in their first year of law, the competition gives you the chance to face off against your peers, receive feedback from older students and gain skills valuable to your coursework. The Senior Moot, meanwhile, allows senior law students to practice their mooting skills and tackle more complex issues.
The Faculty Moot in Semester 2, is an opportunity for all law students to further develop their written and oral skills in mooting. The offer of a second moot in Semester 2 allows budding mooters a second chance at competitions glory and has retained its reputation as the training ground of UQ’s brightest advocates.
The Paper Presentation Competition is aimed at students with a talent for research, analytical, writing and even creative skills. The competition requires students to present a concise case for or against a proposed law reform within a given word limit and then present their arguments orally in front of a panel. The oral component of the competition also tests the ability of competitors to withstand difficult questioning, as the panel seeks to ascertain the depth of the competitors’ knowledge and understanding of the given topic.
The negotiation competitions offer students the opportunity to engage in a method of alternative dispute resolution. The competition requires students to represent a fictional client and achieve their desired outcomes, choosing to strategically divulge known facts and evaluate where their client can compromise on their goals. Teams are required to be creative, adaptable and have excellent inter-team communication skills in finding a solution mutually acceptable to both parties within a given time frame. The competition thus allows students to engage in an invaluable practical exercise not available through their normal course work.
The Client Interviewing Competitions, like the negotiation competitions, allows students to engage in a practical exercise invaluable to their future careers. The Client Interviewing competition simulates an initial consultation between a prospective client and solicitors of a firm. The competition requires students to effectively extract relevant information from their client, analyse their needs and provide appropriate advice, especially when ethical issues arise. The competition can prove particularly challenging where clients are irrational, emotional or reluctant to provide information.
Witness examination is a competition appealing in particular to students in the later years of their degree; those who have completed Criminal Law, Evidence and Civil Procedure. Students compete individually as barristers and advocate to prosecute or defend a charge. The competition tests the ability of Students to think on their feet through the simulation of a civil or criminal trial with an opening statement, examination in chief, cross examination and closing address. The limited time given for preparation makes the competition not only a thrilling one to compete in, but a thrilling one to watch.
Raise the Bar
‘Raise the Bar’ is a new resource being introduced in 2017 to map out all the competitions opportunities available for law students at UQ. The publication provides you with a concise overview of the internal competitions offered by the UQLS as well as the domestic and international competitions available through the support of the UQLS and the TCB School of Law. Raise the Bar is a great way to find all your competitions information in one place and plan your competitions careers for the duration of your degree.