Briercrest alum places 2nd at Sopinka Cup

Posted: March 31, 2009

Alison CathcartThe bar exam is a mere two years away for Briercrest College and Seminary alumnae Alison Cathcart (College ’04), and her and teammate Davy Ireland’s second-place finish at the 11th annual Sopinka Cup Moot Court competition, held March 3-4 in Ottawa, is a big step in the right direction.

Cathcart and Ireland were one of eight teams competing for the cup this year. For Manitoba law students, the competition began in a fall course called Advocacy, during which each second-year student participated in a mock trial (a “moot”).

Cathcart was one of eight students selected to move on to the University of Manitoba’s Solomon Greenberg Competition. She placed second and paired up with first-place winner Ireland to form Team Manitoba, which would compete in the Western Canada Moot Trial Competition in Saskatoon from January 30-31.

She and Ireland placed third, which was enough for a spot in the national competition, the Sopinka Cup.

Alison CathcartIn total, Cathcart says she spent upwards of 180 hours preparing their case and polishing her trial advocacy skills.

She was thrilled with the competition results, but “the highlight of the competition wasn’t the competition at all,” she says. She was far more excited about some of the perks that came with being allowed to compete: All Sopinka Cup competitors had the privilege of touring some of the back rooms of Canada’s Supreme Court—rooms that are closed to the general public. They also had a reception with several Supreme Court justices. For her, the best part of the competition was meeting some of them.

Cathcart decided to pursue law after Briercrest for several reasons. She enjoys reading, writing, public speaking, and learning new things, and a law career will allow her to do all of that on a regular basis. She’d also like to contribute to the Kingdom in her own way. “Christians have a role to play in all facets of life,” she says. “The legal field is no different.”

Cathcart will graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Manitoba in the spring of 2010. She hopes to receive her call to the bar a year after that.