This week has been one of the most stressful and helpful weeks this term; possibly since the start of university. Unfortunately with law, the most useful things are often stressful as hell and extremely time consuming. This week, I had a presentation in seminar in the style of a moot on Tuesday, the first round of the internal mooting competition on Wednesday and a networking event yesterday evening. The networking event wasn’t stressful but the other two certainly were.
One of my reflections on the first year of university is that I didn’t make enough of the law related events that were available to me. Last year I just neglected to enter any of the mooting competitions. I have a slight excuse due to illness for much of the first term but I still could probably have entered. This year, it has definitely been one of the most stressful decisions I have made. People watching moots only see the submissions. In the moot on Tuesday, I had up to 15 minutes to make my submissions and to answer any questions the judges threw at me. To anybody who has not participated in a moot, doing a 15 minute ‘presentation’ does not sound that bad. To be able to do a 15 minute ‘presentation’ on a point of law takes a lot of preparation. I think this first round took me at least 6 hours to prepare for and the semi-final will undoubtedly require much more work on my part. I will learn from the feedback from this round and even if I don’t go further than the semi-finals, the feedback will help me at the end of the year for my assessed moot. I am conflicted when I think about the semi-final and potentially progressing further. Progressing would mean that I can actually tell potential employers I did well in the mooting competition but on the other hand… It means doing another round of the moot… And mooting is, as I have already mentioned, stressful as hell.
This week has been a week of living outside of my comfort zone. I think that whilst the changes I see in myself have gone relatively unnoticed by my university friends, I can see those changes in myself quite clearly now. Last year, I would have taken so long to loosen up enough to hold a conversation with anybody in the legal profession. While I didn’t get a chance to speak to all of the different lawyers around last night, I did get a chance to speak to a few of them and I like to think it went quite well.
Networking is something that is incredibly useful and I know I just have to get used to it. To some extent, having connections is something which does give you an advantage in law. I was debating this point on the tram last night on the way home with a friend and although he disagreed with me, I just said that in the end, the connections are not the most important thing but in relation to being able to get work experience, the more people you know, the better. You just need one week or so to get your foot just slightly in the door and it is so much easier to get more work experience.
This post feels like it is a little dull but my brain has decided that writing is just not something it wants to think about at the moment. Apparently, stress causes me not to sleep well… And then, when the stress is removed… I also can’t sleep. I just can’t win.
This will have to do. Sorry about that. I will try to write about something slightly less dry next time.
~Charlotte (I decided that signing off Fraxi might confuse people since I haven’t explained why I refer to myself as that.)