The Osgoode Cup National Undergraduate Mooting Competition – an annual tournament held at Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Ontario – is a weekend competition intended to introduce students to mooting, a form of public speaking common in law school and within the legal realm. Held for the first time in 2005, the Osgoode Cup has a long tradition and is a well-known hallmark for moot teams around the country, now hosting more than 100 teams (200+ participants) over the course of the weekend.
Having participated in the tournament since it’s creation in 2005, as well as multiple other moot tournaments, the Carleton University Moot Team has become well-established in the undergraduate legal realm. We have emerged victorious from the Osgoode Cup in two consecutive years (2013, 2014), and have multiple teams advancing to Day 2 every year in the Osgoode Cup. It is a tournament that is greatly admired by our team, one we work extremely hard for, and a weekend in which we are all very excited to partake; it is a tradition that the Carleton University Moot Team really looks forward to throughout the first half of each school year.
As a primarily self-funded group, members of the Carleton Moot Team are required to pay for their own tournament fees, transportation and accommodations each year they attend the Osgoode Cup. Although we receive some funding from the Carleton Law Society and are usually able to partially cover the costs of accommodations, the ability for our team members to participate in this tournament is primarily contingent on their own individual financial circumstances and well-being. Wishing to remove this barrier to academia – and encourage participation by students on all ends of the spectrum – we are now taking steps to try and raise our own additional funds, covering the transportation and accommodations for each individual member of our team.
By donating to the Carleton Moot Team’s trip to the Osgoode Cup in March 2020, you will help remove the financial difficulties associated with attending this tournament and enable students to experience the many benefits that the Osgoode Cup has to offer. As the tournament is a fantastic forum for developing personal skills, growing professional networks, and experimenting with legal advocacy, your donations help students develop experience in a field that they often wish to work or study within in the near future. Students have, in the past, been heavily influenced in terms of their career and/or study choices after participating in this tournament, demonstrating that each and every donation – no matter how small – can make a meaningful and lasting impact on our entire team.
All funds received from donors will be put directly towards the team’s participation at the 2020 Osgoode Cup, with any remaining funds given directly towards next years’ team. Our main priority is to cover the hotel accommodations for each member of our team (including breakfast at the hotel, if available), with transportation and tournament fees being covered as secondary matters if enough funds are raised in time. Our goal is to create a situation where no one is barred from participating due to financial matters, and one where the focus is on succeeding in the tournament rather than simply paying for it.
In terms of existing members on the Carleton University Moot Team, this campaign will have an extremely beneficial impact in that it will, for the first time, provide certainty to members of the team in terms of their financial commitment. Our team will no longer be wholly dependent on donations from the Carleton Law Society (which vary largely in a amount, and are also difficult to obtain) and will be able to book hotels based off preferences, location, and/or convenience, and not simply based on those that fit within our budget. Simply put, it provides a level of certainty unparalleled in previous years, and eliminates one of the most inconsistent aspects our team was forced to deal with in the past.
In addition to existing members of the team, this donation structure will create a situation where individuals are not restricted from joining the team and entering into competition simply due to financial hardship. Rather, even students in financially difficult positions will recognize that there is potential to participate in these kinds of tournaments, and that their academic success is not wholly contingent on their ability to pay.