Katie Hall and Alison Cathcart, two third year law students in the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba, are traveling to Paris, France, to represent the university in a world mediation advocacy competition in February 2010.For the first time ever, U of M Robson Hall law students participated this month in the Canadian National Mediation Advocacy Competition (CNMAC) in Toronto. This unique competition assesses law students on their advocacy abilities in mediation sessions, rather than in the courtroom. Students are evaluated on how well they are able to represent their clients in non-adversarial, consensual processes like mediation.
Hall and Cathcart, who were competing against law schools from across the country, finished second. Normally, only the winning team is invited to participate in the world mediation advocacy competition, run by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris. However, judges felt that Robson Hall’s second place finish was so remarkable that Hall and Cathcart were invited to represent the University of Manitoba at the ICC Mediation Advocacy Competition as well.
Hall and Cathcart, together with their coaches, law professor Jennifer Schulz and mediator Adrian Challis, leave for Paris in early February 2010. Schulz says she is very impressed by the performance of her students.
“Katie and Alison are simply naturals,” she explains. “They are poised, brilliant, mediation advocates-incredibly professional and strong under pressure. Indeed, judges at the Canadian competition said that Katie and Alison were amongst the best advocates they had ever seen.”
The team is indebted to Challis, who is a founding partner and mediator with the Winnipeg firm Facilitated Solutions, which provided such expert and supportive coaching both in Toronto and in Winnipeg. The team also acknowledges the expert mediation advice they received from Janet Schmidt and David Dyck, also of Facilitated Solutions in Winnipeg.
Christopher Axworthy, dean of law, observes: “I am delighted but not at all surprised by the performance of our students. We have long known that Robson Hall students are excellent and competitive on the world stage, and this is just further proof. We can’t wait to hear the results of the competition in Paris.”
For more information, contact Jennifer Chlopecki, communications coordinator, Faculty of Law, at: 204-480-1452