Belle Borovik ’19 Wins 2018 Advocate of the Year Competition

Posted Fri, 12/21/2018 - 09:59

This fall, Belle Borovik ’19 took first place in the USF School of Law’s annual Advocate of the Year Competition. The event is an opportunity for students to hone their courtroom skills by arguing a hypothetical case in front of a panel of practicing lawyers, including many USF alumni.

Participants are scored on overall persuasiveness, presence, knowledge of the facts and law, and ability to answer questions effectively. Here’s what Belle had to say about her experience and victory.

What was the most rewarding part of the Advocate of the Year Competition for you?

I'd have to say the most rewarding part was taking what, at first glance, appeared to be a losing argument and weaving it into a logical and compelling solution. Gaining an in-depth understanding of a narrow but precedent-heavy area of law I was unfamiliar with was very rewarding as well.

You won! How did that feel?

I was proud of all the hard work I had put into the competition, and grateful for being able to learn from each argument along the way.

What was the hardest part about the experience for you?

No matter how prepared I was, I could not possibly anticipate every question a judge might ask. The uncertainty made the entire process intellectually stimulating in a unique way, different from class learning.

What contributed to your success?

Although I felt understandably nervous, having the support of my fellow Moot Court students in the courtroom made all the difference. It was an honor to bring a case in front of three experienced judges, and to receive their invaluable feedback. Many thanks to the Moot Court Board, Professor Amy Flynn, and Professor Edith Ho for putting together the competition, and to Kelly Stephan 3L who dedicated so much of her time to making this experience a positive one for all participants. Great many thanks to Professor Gary Alexander, who gave me (and every student in my Legal Research, Writing, and Analysis class) the tools needed for persuasive advocacy.

How will you use your law degree to change the world from here?

I will try everyday to show that success in an adversarial system does not have to come at a price of human dignity.