Where are you now?
I am currently attending Western University in London, Ontario. I am in my second year studying Political Science with my eyes still set on law school. I’ve become a member of the Western Pre-Law Society and a part of the executive team as this year’s Mock Trial Commissioner.
How, if at all, did the Empire help you get there?
My experience at Empire has made my desire to pursue a career in law that much stronger. Being involved in the world’s largest mock trial competition has helped me realize that I want law always to be incorporated into my life. Such experience has helped in the position I now hold with the Western Pre-Law Society. I have gone from competing in mock trial competitions to now running and hosting tournaments of my own. The transition from a participant, or lawyer, to a tournament organizer has allowed me to see mock trial from a different perspective. It has opened my eyes to see how enjoyable and exciting mock trial can be for not only those participating, but also to those who are coordinating. Empire has given me a greater understanding for what participants want to get out of such a competition.
What’s your favorite Empire moment?
One of the great things about Empire is the many memories you take away from the event. It’s not just about the trials, but also what happens outside the courtroom. A number of memories come to mind, but if I were to choose my favourite, I’d have to say the Pin Ceremony. Every single Empire team and participant in one place, with the ability to meet, chat, and exchange trinkets unique to our country or state. I still have my Koala from the Australians! I met some very spectacular people over this weekend that came from all over the world. Having that time to bond was the perfect way to start off what was a special event.
If you’ve come back as a volunteer, why have you stayed involved with the Empire family?
Unfortunately I haven’t yet been able to go back to Empire and volunteer; however, I was given a very unique opportunity this past summer. As a Mentor College Mock Trial alumni who competed in Empire, I was asked to go back to my high school and help coach the team that would be going back to represent Canada. I spent my time with students not much younger than I, who had the same excitement, determination, and drive that once consumed me in the build up to Empire. Staying involved with Mentor’s Mock Trial family is very important, as I learned many skills and lessons from being a part of the team, ones I hope to pass on.
How would you describe the Empire to someone that has never been?
If I had to explain Empire, I’d say it is one of the few places a mock trial competitor can go and have everyone understand what it is you’re doing, why you choose to do it, and why you love it. You can explain mock trial to your family and friends, but it is not until you meet fellow competitors from all around the world that you know you’re talking to people who truly understand why it is you put so many hours and so much effort into it. I’ve never seen such friendliness and camaraderie between competitors – Empire brings together a truly unique set of people that I’m so glad I had the opportunity to meet.