1 What year did you participate and who was your teammate?
2002-2003 — Tyson Thomas
2 If you have graduated and moved on, what do you do now and how did moot court help you for your future?
Following graduation I moved to San Diego to pursue my masters in Political Science. Although originally interested in law school, moot court actually helped push me toward graduate school because I found myself more interested in researching policy implications rather than case law.
Once I finished my masters I moved to Orange County and began working both as a jury consultant for Jury Impact and a political messaging strategist for their sister company M4 Strategies. Moot court skills including public speaking, quick thinking in high pressure situations, and critical analysis skills have always proved helpful in my professional life.
3 What is your fondest memory about moot court?
Loving how close-knit our class was and knowing that whenever moot court comes to mind, they think the same thing.
4 What was the best thing about moot court?
It’s one of the only classes/activities where you put in the time, effort, and hard work, and not only see your progress as the weeks go by, but also understand how your new skills will benefit you later in school or work.
5 What was the worst thing about moot court?
I can’t really think of a worst thing, so I’ll go with another “w” — the weirdest thing about moot court: The random e-mails our class circulated for years afterward about actual supreme court cases that may have had some influence on Al-Abi’s moot case [Al-Abi was a party in the 2002-2003 case]. Yes, we were still thinking through our case years later, and no, you can never quite get it out of your system.
6 What do you miss about moot court?
Being in a class where everyone is equally as dedicated and consumed by the material or project as you are.
7 What tournaments did you compete in and what were they like?
I competed in the first regional competition held at Long Beach State and the national competition in Arlington, Texas the following winter. Regionals at that time were small — we had hardly any teams — but none of us knew what to expect and we were all wound up and nervous and you’d think our life depended on breaking to the next round. Nationals was a bit different — we were perceived as loud by the other schools there, with the implication that our willingness to cheer our fellow teams on meant we weren’t “in it.” The best part of that whole weekend was the look of shock on their faces when Long Beach State took home the gold.
[A CSULB team was national champion that year. It was CSULB’s first year of competition].
8 What advice would you give future mooters?
Don’t compete against your classmates, support each other. Especially with how the regional is set up now, you’re competing against everyone for a bid, and in the end you’d rather someone from your school, no matter who it may be, gets it. Besides, once the tournament is over it won’t matter who won, and you’ll have an amazingly close group of friends and a built in support network for applying to graduate schools or taking the LSAT.
9 Who was the BEST mooter you ever saw? What made him or her so good?
The best mooter I saw was my partner. Anyone can mimic a lawyer, memorize case law, be an amazing public speaker, or have an awesome day, but when you are arguing in front of me day in, day out, we’re critiquing each other on ridiculous levels, we’ve fleshed through argument possibilities for months, I know every possible angle you were even thinking about taking, and you still manage to surprise me with something brilliant during competition, then you’re the best.
10 Why should someone consider moot court?
Besides the previously discussed reasons, in the academic world there aren’t too many opportunities to bond with a team and compete for your school at the collegiate level. This is one of them.