A group of four Truman Bodden Law School (TBLS) students participated in the Caribbean Law Clinic (CLC) hosted by TBLS on 19 and 20 November 2020. The CLC is the flagship event of the American Caribbean Law Initiative and was hosted virtually by TBLS for the first time in the organisation’s 20-year history.
The four TBLS participants were two second year students, Sharon Roy and Diana DeMercado and two third year students, Tiffany Titus and Daniel Lee.
The Clinic takes place annually, being hosted by member schools in rotation. The law school which participated in the virtual clinic in addition to TBLS were: The Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica, The Eugene Dupuch Law School, Bahamas and Florida International University’s School of Law.
The November CLC required teams, comprising students drawn from the different law schools, to present legal opinions based on Cayman Islands law to a panel of Clinic judges comprising the Cayman Islands Solicitor General, Ms Reshma Sharma, the Cayman Islands Deputy Solicitor General, Ms Claire Allen, and the Cayman Islands Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Patrick Moran. TBLS is grateful to the Honourable Chief Justice and the Courts Administrator and staff for kindly hosting the Clinic. The CLC is a unique advocacy training exercise which requires students to work collaboratively with their peers from the other participating schools both in conducting their pre-Clinic research and in the presentation of their legal arguments. The CLC is also unique in requiring participating students to become familiar with the laws and procedure of the host law school.
The participating TBLS students commented:
“The Law Clinic was an amazing experience for all of us at the Truman Bodden Law School. It was a great opportunity to work alongside students who study law in other jurisdictions and to assist them in researching and preparing arguments based on our local laws in the Cayman Islands. It was a learning curve for all of us as we had to work with the other students remotely, which proved to have its fair share of challenges. However, it was extremely rewarding to see it all come together in the end with students from all the schools delivering impressive arguments and demonstrating commendable advocacy skills.
“In the end, it was a delight to see it all come together and the different styles all the students had when delivering their arguments, along with the various approaches taken to answer the problems at hand. We all took on the positive feedback given by the judges which will help each of us to become better advocates in the future. This was definitely an experience we are grateful to have been a part of and would recommend future TBLS law students to take part in if they are given the opportunity to do so.”
Law School Director Mitchell Davies praised all four TBLS students for their hard work in preparing for the Clinic and for successfully negotiating the additional challenges presented by the virtual nature of the exercise and the pre-clinic research and collaboration with other team members. Mr. Davies echoed the comments of the judges who complimented all teams on their thorough preparation and sound advocacy skills in mooting technical points of Cayman Islands law and procedure.
The next meeting of the Caribbean Law Clinic is scheduled to take place in November 2021 when the host institution will be Florida International University, Miami.
Photo caption: Left to right: TBLS students Diana DeMercado, Daniel Lee and Sharon Roy. Missing is student Tiffany Titus who participated remotely.
Photo: Andrew Perkins