Law Schools, Ridiculousness

Moot Court Craziness

Let’s play pretend!

I feel like you could do a whole reality series on moot court participants. You could call it “So I Didn’t Make Law Review,” then just film the moot court people as they try to justify moot court participation as a valuable thing that employers really care about.

Come on, we all know people who take “pretend court” very seriously, secretly thinking that their experience is actually even more valuable than law review… because pretending to do appellate argument is sooooo very much like what a first-year associate does every day.

Today, we have a Touro Moot Court student taking the “very seriously” to the next level. This student has decided to criticize other moot court students for not taking moot court seriously enough. I’m not making that up, we’ve got a person who couldn’t make law review at Touro criticizing other Touro students for not making the most of their Touro experience…

There are so many problems with this email, and they’re all funny. It’s funny how this woman is all bent out of shape about people not coming to an “honors banquet” for law review and moot court students. It’s funny that this woman was going to give out “participation” awards to the moot court students, and then didn’t understand why they wouldn’t want to be there. It’s funny that Touro is thinking of taking away “honors” distinctions for moot courters, and that this woman thinks going to banquets is the way to prevent that. It’s all funny.

Funny — or “sad,” if one is inclined towards sympathy. Let’s call this lady “Downeaster Alexa” and see her email:

Subject: Honors Banquet

Good evening all,

I just got home from the Honors Banquet and I am writing this e-mail to share my disappointment with all of you. This does not apply to everyone, but does apply to the majority.

This Honors Banquet was a dinner with the Dean, faculty and law review, in which both law review and moot court members would be recognized for their successes and hard work this past academic year. At this dinner each of you were going to be presented with a participation award and when your name was called I was going to quickly explain your individual successes this past year. To my dismay, I was only able to give out three awards tonight.

I will tell you that this was not the case for law review who had a fabulous showing of members. I am sharing this with all of you because I am dedicated to Moot Court and I want us to gain the recognition and respect we deserve. However, we will never get either of those two things if we do not appear as though we have a strong unit of hard working members and if we do not share our successes in front of the most important individuals whose support we need.

The Dean, Dean Berman and all of our faculty advisors were there. These are the individuals behind the integration. The ones considering taking our “honors” and credits away. I can tell you that our lack of members there tonight did not go unnoticed by them.

With that said, I think it is important that I make a few things clear. First, events, like the event that was held tonight, will be mandatory from this point forward. Second, if you cannot attend an event or any other mandatory program I need to know and there needs to be a legitimate reason. Third, I need all of you to be motivated and dedicated to this program. I need everyone behind me so we can get what we want, keep what we want and make moot court the best it has ever been. I truly hope this is not an indication of how our year together next year will be.

Sincerely,
Downeaster Alexa

Let me just pull out a few quotes for emphasis:

  • “At this dinner each of you were going to be presented with a participation award.” You’re going to Touro, your J.D. is basically a participation award.
  • “I will tell you that this was not the case for law review who had a fabulous showing of members.” Yes, well, I don’t know that we have time to list all the “fabulous” differences.
  • “I am dedicated to Moot Court and I want us to gain the recognition and respect we deserve.” That seems to be your problem right there.
  • “First, events, like the event that was held tonight, will be mandatory from this point forward.” Yes, by all means Touro moot court, focus on appearances instead of substance. That is the way forward.

Look, I don’t want to be the one to break it to Alexa here, but law review or it didn’t happen — especially if you are going to a poorly ranked law school. Maybe, maybe, maybe you could convince me that there are employers out there who care about being on the UVA Moot Court. But Touro? Please. You can’t even make law review at Touro but you want people to take pretend arguing very seriously?

It seems to me that the Touro moot court students are giving Touro Moot Court exactly the kind of respect it deserves.

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