Competitions

02. Social Rights

Competitions

The NDSLS is responsible for the organisation of a variety of competitions each year. Our competitions provide the opportunity for students to develop their practical legal skills in a supportive, engaging and interesting environment. We provide a diverse range of internal and external competitive opportunities.

Each competition is modelled after real life situations and each case draws inspiration from realistic legal issues and concepts. These competitions are made with a focus on research skills, strong oral and written communication, logical and critical thinking as well as creative problem solving.

Many of the most rewarding experience at law school come from these competitions, as always we welcome the participation of all our students. The rewards of participating in competitions extend well beyond applying what you learn in lectures and create an everlasting impact on your professional legal skills and development.

Client Interview

What is Involved?

With only a very brief memorandum outlining the context of the meeting, the competition requires a partnership of competitors who will be required to conduct a successful client interview by adequately establishing rapport, gathering information and providing the client some preliminary advice.

With the facts provided a week before the competition, competitors have 40 minutes to conduct the interview with their client and 10 minutes to privately confer in a post-interview analysis, which should begin with a summary of the interview, state the relevant legal issues to be addressed, and move onto an explanation of the intended course of action. At this point in time the judge will also confer with the client regarding the proposed course of action.

You will not be judged on how much advice you give, but on the quality of your correspondence and teamwork.

 
 

What is Involved?

Negotiation is a mock mediation session where solicitors attempt to resolve a dispute. Representing their respective parties, they must attempt to reach an outcome to the negotiation that satisfies their client’s interests.

Competitors receive a set of facts a week prior to their round. The first information, the ‘general facts’, which is provided to both teams generally discloses matters regarding how the dispute arose and general party interests. Meanwhile, each team also receives a set of ‘confidential facts’ regarding their client. Using these facts, competitors must identify their client’s interests and devise a strategy for the negotiation.

Paper Presentation

 

What is Involved?

The paper presentation competition helps you build up both your written and oral communication skills in a legal context. Two components are involved: a written paper on a legal issue and a presentation of that paper to an audience and a panel of judges.

Competitors are required to submit a paper of 2000-3000 words in length – this does not need to be written specifically for the competition, and can be a modified essay from an assessment. As with all tertiary papers, the word limit is exclusive of the bibliography, footnotes, titles and subtitles. However the use of any and all explanatory footnotes does count towards the word limit. In terms of referencing, the paper is to conform to the most current edition of the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.

The oral presentation is limited to 15 minutes; the primary aim is to communicate the paper’s arguments in a logical and succinct manner. There will be no questions from the bench during the presentation; however, there will be a ten minute questioning session with the judges at the conclusion of the presentation. Students may opt to utilise a whiteboard, overhead projector or a customised power point to assist or supplement their presentation.

 

What is Involved?

A moot is a simulated appeal in a superior court, based on a mock fact scenario and judgment from a lower court. No witnesses, just good old fashioned legal argument about whether or not the lower court decision was correct.

Based on the facts presented you will argue your clients position in a simulated real-life court proceeding where you will compose and submit a Memorandum of Argument in the form of written submissions and participate in oral arguments using appropriate court etiquette.

Expect to be queried and questioned by the judges as they test you to see just how well you know your facts and the cases surrounding a particular point of law.

Witness Examination

 

What is Involved?

The Witness Examination competition is a simulated civil or criminal trial. Teams consist of two students, one barrister and one non-competitive witness. As the barrister, you will act as either counsel for the defence or prosecution and your task will be to ascertain the facts of the case through the examination and cross-examination of witnesses.

As a witness, you must memorise the facts of the case prior to trial and must testify in accordance with the facts. It is permissible to create facts that are not in the brief, but the facts created must always be consistent with the brief. The witness is a noncompetitive witness meaning that they must be cooperative for both the defence and prosecution.

Competitions Guide

 

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