Where are you now?
I currently live in San Francisco, California and work at a medium sized corporate law firm supporting two partners in the Construction / Real Estate section. I graduated from the University of San Francisco in December of 2012 and will be starting my first year in law school this Fall of 2014.
How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?
As a Mock Trial obsessed high school student, the Empire was an excellent opportunity to prepare for the Arizona state competition by competing against diverse teams that I would not have normally encountered. I vividly recall the Empire City Invitational – after the opposing team delivered a superior performance and the judge slammed his gavel, it was my responsibility to revise our side’s closing argument. The time pressure galvanized me into action and engaged me on a visceral and intellectual level. Even though our team lost that day, I was exhilarated by the challenge of developing a persuasive argument that could change the decisions of others. While my interest in law has matured and grown throughout the many years since the Empire, I’ve carried the memory of the excitement I felt while competing in New York and it serves as a reminder of my own passion in the legal field.
What’s your favorite Empire moment?
While I truly enjoyed competing, one of my favorite memories from the Empire was the cruise. As you get older, every boss and mentor will engrain in you the importance of networking. The cruise is great practice on how to start networking as a young adult and was a lot of fun. It provides an opportunity to get to know people with similar interests and create lasting friendships. In my own personal experience, I still keep in contact with several people I met at the Empire – some are close friends and some have offered me valuable advice during my law school application process. The Empire was truly a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend the invitational to any team who is invested in Mock Trial.
How would you describe the Empire to someone who has never been?
The Empire is an opportunity to develop and refine valuable skills that I believe will make a significant difference in your professional pursuits. Not only will the Empire allow you to become familiar with varying legal cases, master the rules of evidence, and perfect your court room procedure, but also the trip as a whole bonds team members in a unique way that increases teamwork, collaboration, creativity, and ultimately benefits individual learning. In the professional field, you regularly are required to collaborate with individuals from diverse backgrounds. This can be challenging and requires you to be a capable team member by recognizing your own weaknesses, taking responsibility for your work, and continually improving your participation in the team process. The Empire offers an avenue to acquire the ability to work closely with others and develop strong teamwork skills that are transferrable not only to a law school community and the practice of law, but to other professional fields.