On Saturday 7th December, Zahra Ahmed and Kofi Otu (students on the GDL at City Law School and relative newcomers to mooting) competed in the inaugral Michael Corkery QC Criminal Law Moot , run by 5 Paper Buildings. Here’s the day through the eyes of Zahra… *Friday 6th December 2019*
It’s the last day of Term 1 on the GDL. Tomorrow will be my second attempt at mooting, hosted by an actual chambers with actual barristers. I’m itching to make a good impression but I’m not sure I will be able to shake off the nerves from my first internal moot a month ago – the long awkward silence as I had frozen and paused just as I started my submissions. Only to freeze again… and again. After the nerve-racking experience of the City GDL Internal Moot (and almost bursting into tears after I had left the room), you can imagine I am on edge at the thought of mooting in a more formal environment. Plus with a team mate who I do not want to let down. The Michael Corkery QC Criminal Moot is made up of 3 rounds with 22 universities taking part in the first round of the competition. The moot problem is largely based on the high profile real-life case of Charlie Alliston , who was riding a ‘fixie’ bike without proper braking mechanisms. Cycling through a busy central London during lunchtime, there was a fatal collision killing a pedestrian who had stepped out from behind a parked lorry.
Our team have to argue that the conviction for unlawful act manslaughter is unsafe – not an easy feat when we have only finished the topic of Involuntary Manslaughter on our course today!
I had learned from last time that ‘winging it’ when it comes to the moot speech is definitely NOT the way to go. I decide that the only way to conquer my nerves is to write out my whole speech and practise. So I do. I practise. I edit the speech. I practise again. I practise with my moot partner. I check that I […]
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In this series, NerdWallet interviews people who have triumphed over debt. Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Okeoma Moronu fell from one major life decision to the next. She went to law school in New York City because people said she had a knack for law. And the more than $200,000 in student loans she needed to fund that degree? She figured that was just par for the course.
But when Moronu had to confront the reality of how much she owed — and was paying in interest — the young lawyer realized she needed to take a more purposeful approach to life and her finances.
So she dedicated herself to what she calls her “happiness journey.” A big part of that journey was freeing herself from the $3,000 monthly student loan payment that stretched her budget despite making $160,000 her first year out of law school.
After paying off $212,000 in 6.5 years, Moronu and her young family now live in Costa Rica and continue to focus more on happiness and less on burdensome debt.
Moronu chronicles her journey on her blog, “ The Happy Lawyer Project .” She recently talked with NerdWallet to share her story, which may inspire your own debt-free journey . Track your spending the easy way
Tracking your spending by hand is tedious. Throw away your paper budget and sign up for NerdWallet to make managing your money easy. How much debt did you have and what’s your debt load now?
I had $212,000 in student loans.
My husband and I currently have a $70,000 mortgage on rental properties and a $20,000 balance on a 0% annual percentage rate credit card that covered the remaining balance on our house in Costa Rica, which we mostly paid cash for and expect to pay off by February. How did you get into debt? Law school. I was completely in over […]
Students who have applied to start a full-time taught undergraduate or postgraduate programme in September 2020 – and who are classed as overseas students for fee purposes – are now eligible for the Law School’s Think Big about Global Justice scholarships. For undergraduates: The University of Bristol Law School is offering two full-time Think Big about Global Justice undergraduate scholarships worth £9,000 each (i.e. £3,000 p.a. each, available over 3 years) to eligible undergraduate students studying for an LLB qualification. The deadline for applications is 29 March, 2020.
For postgraduates: The University of Bristol Law School is offering two full-time Think Big about Global Justice postgraduate scholarships worth £5000 each to eligible postgraduate students studying for an LLM qualification. There are two rounds of applications. Round 1 is now open and will close on 29 March 2020 and Round 2 will close on 14 June 2020 .
Double your chances: By applying for a Think Big about Global Justice scholarship, you will also be automatically entered into the University’s Think Big Undergraduate and Postgraduate scholarships without the need to fill out a further application form. These scholarships offer a number of awards valued at £5,000 and £10,000, plus an additional £20,000 for postgraduate applicants. The same deadlines apply.
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Christopher Hennessy is a partner at Cozen O’Connor. He earned his degree in communications from NIU in 1991. “In the most simplistic and honest way, I liked arguing,” he recalled with a laugh. “Before I ever went to college, I knew that I liked arguing, and the naïve side of me thought, ‘What job could I do where I get to argue all day? I could be a lawyer!’ But honestly, I just felt that I wanted to use my voice and my persuasion to help others.’”
With that singular focus, Hennessy plotted a thoughtful, deliberate course. He understood the way to a career in law would not be a sprint to the finish. Knowing he would eventually end up in law school and be an attorney, he eyed a different route for his undergraduate degree. He enrolled in Northern Illinois University’s Department of Communications because he was looking to strengthen a core set of skills.
“Communication, public speaking, speech writing, persuasion—these were all the things I wanted to learn,” he said. “I never wanted to be a transactional lawyer. I always wanted to be a courtroom lawyer, or a litigation attorney, because I wanted to be in front of a judge, in front of a jury, to persuade people and advocate for my clients. I knew NIU would be the best path for me.”
Hennessy noted that NIU’s extremely diverse community and ground-up work ethic taught him about getting to know people and working with people from all walks of life.
“Juries aren’t filled with lawyers, so I didn’t want to only be surrounded by fellow lawyers,” he said. “A lot of the time, you just have to be able to talk to people. And if you can’t talk to people, you can’t persuade people. I think my undergraduate education was fantastic because it made that part easier.”
Like many Huskies, Hennessy worked through college, paying his own way through jobs and student loans. After graduation, he continued working so that he could save up and have the luxury of focusing solely on law school. In 1993, he enrolled at The John Marshall […]
Credit: Sira Anamwong/Shutterstock.com Although reliable recent data is somewhat difficult to find, according to the American Bar Association, the average law school student graduated with between $84,600 and $122,158 in student loans in 2012. In 2016, 69% of law school students graduated with student debt, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Given the increasing cost of law school, these numbers are likely growing. That fact, coupled with the challenges of trying to launch a career in the wake of the Great Recession, has made carrying substantial debt a fact of life for many in our profession. Want to continue reading?
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Finally, as Zara Mason stood in front of the justices, her peers and, most importantly, her family to take her oath as a newly-appointed lawyer in the state of Wyoming, she thought a lot about the roads that she traveled to get to this point. There was high school, followed by college where she was a Division-I student athlete. There was a Master’s Degree, during which she interned as an investigator with the El Paso County Public Defender’s Office. There were the years spent as a Private Investigator, primarily working on sex-related crimes. Then came the long nights, uneventful weekends and unexciting winter and summer breaks, while she worked to financially put herself through law school and become a member of the Wyoming Law Review. Then, finally, there was the law degree, the bar exam and the job offer from WPDN – an offer that she said she ‘bullied’ her way into. But that’s how Zara has always been; she works hard for what she wants, and she doesn’t stop until, finally, she gets it.
“To be completely honest with you, WPDN wasn’t even hiring at the time I was looking to secure a post-graduate job,” Mason revealed. “In the fall of 2018, WPDN was looking for a second-year summer associate and I reached out to Kyle Ridgeway because I had previously seen some of his work product and I recognized his name.”
Mason recalled emailing Ridgeway and passing along her resume and a cover letter, hoping that he would get her materials to the right people.
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“So, in a way, I was lucky that my resume even got delivered to Scott Ortiz and Amy Iberlin,” she continued. “They happened to be coming down to Laramie to interview second-year law students for the summer internship and I essentially just told Scott and Amy that I wanted to work for WPDN as an associate.”
While Zara maintains that she somewhat bullied her way into her position, WPDN wouldn’t have hired her unless she had already proven herself and produced a pretty remarkable resume. She seemed like a good fit for the team […]