It may be getting chilly outside, but Humber students are ready to engage in heated legal arguments during the third annual Paralegal Cup, which will be held on November 21 and 22, 2015 at Humber’s Lakeshore Campus.
Hosted by Humber College, the Paralegal Cup is open to students in paralegal diploma and certificate programs at colleges across the province, and is the only intercollegiate mooting competition exclusive to paralegal students in Ontario. Mooting, a popular form of mock legal presentation at law schools, involves two-student teams identifying and addressing legal issues in a selected case. Drawing on their advocacy, legal research and legal writing skills, teams present ten-minute oral submissions before a panel of judges.
“The competition strengthens student advocacy and critical thinking skills by focusing on oral and written advocacy, professionalism, and resiliency,” says Madeline Williams, Paralegal Cup Coordinator and paralegal degree student. “It gives students an opportunity to refine and showcase their advocacy skills on a very complex piece of law, while interacting with senior mentors from the legal community. The event serves to be an invaluable opportunity for students to connect with mentors, industry leaders, and future colleagues.”
This competition began in 2013 when Fallon Burns, a former Humber paralegal degree student, teamed up with her classmates Karen Fair and Doug Taylor to create a skills competition for paralegals. The Paralegal Cup opened the door for students to participate in mooting. Prior to its inception, these competitions were exclusive to undergraduate and law students, with Humber’s paralegal degree students the only exception.
“What excites me the most about the Paralegal Cup is the calibre of students coming though this event – they are professional and completely prepared,” says Michelle Haigh, owner of Precision Paralegal Services and master of ceremonies for 2014’s Paralegal Cup. “You can tell how much work they have put into the event. The student competitors are starting their career before they are even licensed. The other paralegals and myself … are excited where this profession is headed, and to see where events like this are going to take us.”
Day one of the two-day competition involves four rounds of submissions by each student team, as well as an evening banquet where participants are given the opportunity to network with professionals from the industry.
On day two, the top eight teams compete in the final rounds until one team is victorious and walks away with the coveted Paralegal Cup.
“At its heart, the Paralegal Cup is about students,” says Williams. “Students are the future of the paralegal profession. The students who participate in the competition become stronger and more confident advocates. As they graduate into the profession, they are better prepared to deliver Ontarians increased access to justice.”
For more information about The 2015 Paralegal Cup, visit paralegalcup.ca