My name is Cindy Do and I am a penultimate Bachelor of Laws/Arts student at La Trobe Law School. Through my time here at La Trobe I have been blessed with abundant opportunities to develop critical career skills outside of the classroom. One of such opportunities presented itself through the law school’s mooting program.
In an effort to develop my skillset, I participated in a number of internal moot competitions hosted by the law school. After winning William Roberts Junior Moot and receiving the Best Speaker Award, I took the plunge and applied to participate, and was accepted into the Willem C. Vis Moot program. I can confidently say that participating as part of the Latrobe mooting team and as an oral advocate in the competition has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at the law school.
I am immensely grateful to our coach Dr. Magda Karagiannakis and my team members: Kirtan Swamy who was my fellow finals oralist in the Vis East competition and Wilson Tan, Ashmal Naleemudeen and James Fitsioris who were our oralists in the Vis Vienna competition. I am also grateful to academic staff, alumni, and all those who gave their time to help develop my legal writing and advocacy skills.
Our efforts led to the La Trobe team placing in the top 16, as the highest-ranking Australian law school at the 16th Willem C. Vis East Moot.
It was honour to be given the opportunity to achieve these results by the law school. This opportunity has been particularly important for me because I come from a family that fled a war-torn country and does not speak English at home. As the first in my family to attend university I strive to achieve what my parents never had the chance to achieve in their education and work. It was a humbling moment to be able to tell them that after months of sleepless nights and hard work that we placed as finalists in one of the most prestigious law competitions in the world.
One of the things I appreciate most about the La Trobe mooting program is the emphasis on self-learning and independence. There was an effective balance between the support that I was provided with and the opportunity to learn things on my own. As a result, I have developed an eclectic set of skills that I can now employ as I venture into my future legal career.