Admiralty Moot Court: Pirate Lawyering in Seattle

Caroline Lambert (’19) discusses her experience participating in the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition.

A few months ago I posted about one of my unexpected favorite classes, Admiralty Law (find it here.) I’m following-up on that post to share about the Admiralty Moot Court team’s trip to Seattle to compete in the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition!

caroline-lambert-seattle-tripLast Wednesday my two teammates (who also took the class with me), our professor, his wife, and I all boarded a plane to Seattle to participate in the Judge John R. Brown competition. It was a long flight but it went smoothly (other than when I fell asleep on the plane with my forehead against the screen that was on the back of the seat in front me and the screen heated up and it burned my forehead… is that a tort?). When we landed it was actually my first time on the West Coast, which was so exciting!

We had our first oral argument on Thursday morning, followed by another on Thursday afternoon. Thursday night was a reception at Seattle University Law School for all of the competing teams, and we got to mingle with some of our competition—and actually made some friends! Friday morning we had our last round of oral arguments… which happened to be against the team we became friends with the night before! We had free time on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday to explore the city before the closing ceremonies on Saturday night, which were held at the Admiral’s House overlooking the entire city of Seattle from across the bay (see last picture!). Then Sunday it was back to Boston!

caroline-lambert-admiralty-moot-court
The Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition team, from left to right: Stewart Sibert (’18), Sigal Markowitz (’19), and Caroline Lambert (’19)

The oral arguments were intense, nerve-wracking, challenging, and fun. Yes, fun. All of our judges were very familiar with both the problem and admiralty law (which is a rarity) and had some very good questions during oral arguments. Though I’m not interested in litigation, moot court is still beneficial: it teaches you to think on your toes, respond succinctly and clearly, not get flustered, and choose your words carefully. It also teaches you what’s important to emphasize from the brief, and how to translate from text to speech. When writing, it is easier to get everything down onto paper and make sure every detail that you need is included. When you’re participating in oral arguments, it’s a certainty that you won’t have the chance to say everything you want to say and in the manner you want to say it. When you’re thrown off by a judge’s question, it’s tough to get back onto your “script,” but it gets easier and easier each time!

In addition to the competition aspect, I really enjoyed exploring Seattle with my teammates and our professor, Mr. Hooper, and his wife, Stephie. We went to Pike Place, explored downtown and Capitol Hill, and even went to the Museum of Flight! I have to say, though I wish we had advanced further in the competition, I wasn’t too torn up about it because that meant I got to spend FIVE hours in the Museum of Flight! caroline-lambert-museum-of-flightI’m a total and complete airplane nerd so this was heaven for me. This museum was incredible, absolutely rivaling the Smithsonian. It had a supreme collection of airplanes from all years of flight, and it had an equally impressive space exhibit. It also had my favorite airplane (well, a variation- they had an MD-21, a predecessor to and slightly modified version of the SR-71, which is my favorite) and they had part of the cockpit of the SR-71 where you could actually SIT in it. I was so happy while at the museum my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.

I think competing in the JJRBAMC (shorthand for, the admiralty moot court competition) was one of the coolest opportunities I’ve had while at BU Law. Admiralty law is really interesting, and moot court is a lot of work but so worthwhile when you realize how much it helped hone your brief writing and oral advocacy skills. And I got to go to a new city that I’d never been to before, and experience all of this with two of my best friends from law school! I couldn’t have picked a better adventure for 2L year if  I tried.

Reported by Caroline Lambert (’19), originally posted to the BU Law Student Blog

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