by Troy Christman
My externship experience this past semester was incredibly interesting and thought provoking, and I think it genuinely helped me as an advocate and future attorney.
I participated in the American Caribbean Law Clinic (ACLI) supervised by Dean Wilson. During the semester, I did research for him regarding property law in several Caribbean island nations. The research was interesting, but the high point was the Caribbean Law Conference held towards the end of the semester at Nova Southeastern Law School in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
Before the conference, we were provided with a packet including an assigned a legal question and the part that we would play in advocating one way or another on the issue. My team and I got in touch briefly before the conference began, but the real fun started once we dove into our assignment.
On day one, we met as a team and hammered out our roles in the moot trial ahead, which would take place the next day at the conference. I was really impressed with the quality of advocacy skills my Caribbean counterparts possessed. They came from the Caymans, the Bahamas, and elsewhere, and were all well versed in notions of advocacy based on the common law, as they are all from Commonwealth nations which share in our use of this legal code. I took a lot away from their passion and ability to digest the material, properly analyze it, and turn it around for purposes of arguing on behalf of our “client.”
Our team had a practice moot, and learned from our mistakes. The final day we did the real thing, and frankly we performed very well. There were no winners or losers proclaimed, but I would have to say that we won our moot. They helped me be a better student and advocate, and I’ll forever be grateful for the experience to learn from my fellow international law students.