“The Lloyd Dean Moot competition was one of the highlights of my academic career thus far. As an aspiring law student being exposed to another form of law being mooting as opposed to mock trials was a learning experience. I would highly recommend this competition to anyone with an interest in law as the more experience and exposure one gets in any setting such as this, the better.”- Josh Roceters (Mooter, 2020)
The path toward the Lloyd Dean Moot
In my second year of law school, I chaired the 12th Julius Alexander Isaac Moot (Isaac Moot) hosted by the Black Law Students’ Association of Canada (BLSA Canada) as the 2018-2019 National Moot Director. At the close of several months of planning that led to a competitive weekend, I left the Ontario Court of Appeal downtown Toronto, imagining an idea that would one day become a reality at my local BLSA chapter in Southern Ontario.
During law school, I recognized that law students have the chance to sharpen their advocacy skills through a variety of mooting competitions and negotiation tournaments. However, there are limited opportunities for undergraduate students to explore their interests in law before coming to law school. Furthermore, being one of six Black students in my graduating class, I understand the effects of the underrepresentation of Black students in Canadian law schools. I believe we need more outreach initiatives that focus on the recruitment of Black students to law school, which will diversify the profession and enhance the communities we serve. The Lloyd Dean Moot aims to bridge these gaps.
About the Lloyd Dean Moot
The Lloyd Dean Moot is named after the Honorable Justice Lloyd Dean, who presides at the Ontario Court of Justice in the West- Region-Essex County. He is the great grandson of Delos Rogest Davis, K.C., who many believe to have been the first Black lawyer in Canada. Justice Dean frequently returns to the University of Windsor to teach law courses, speak on panel discussions and offers his support to Windsor Law campus clubs.
The Moot is a free undergraduate competition organized by the Black Law Students’ Association at the University of Windsor, Faculty of Law (BLSA Windsor). Modeled after the Isaac Moot, each year the Lloyd Dean Moot focuses on an area of law in which issues of equity and diversity arise, often incorporating elements of critical race theory into the problem.
What sets the Lloyd Dean Moot apart from other advocacy competitions is its mandate to increase access to legal education for prospective Black law students. While all students enrolled in an undergraduate program are welcome to participate, the Lloyd Dean Moot particularly targets Black undergraduate students who are traditionally underrepresented in law school. As a result of anti-Black racism and systemic racism, many students of colour lack access to equal opportunities and resources in legal education. By the end of the Moot, we hope that these students will see themselves belonging in law school and consider careers in the legal profession.
Impact of the Moot
Experience is the best teacher. The Lloyd Dean Moot provides an opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in a beginner-friendly mooting competition and practice their oral advocacy, public speaking and critical thinking skills, while engaging in legal analysis in a variety of areas of law. Participants get to network with law students, lawyers, professors, legal practitioners and sitting justices. The Lloyd Dean Moot also features a lunch and learn session on admissions where students gain insight about applying to law school. The conclusion of the event is marked by an award ceremony that recognizes winners of the competition.
The inaugural Lloyd Dean Moot
The 1st Lloyd Dean Moot problem was authored by Nashara Peart, the 2017-2018 BLSA Canada National President and graduate of the Dual JD program offered by the University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy. As Moot Chair, I worked alongside Moot Committee members Ebony Evans, Jhanel Dundas, Aucha Stewart, Kendra Wilson and Tia McCalla, who collaborated diligently behind the scenes to coordinate and execute the competition.
On March 7, 2020, we welcomed 14 undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines to Windsor Law. Upper-year law students, professors and practitioners volunteered as moot coaches and preliminary round judges. The final round boasted a panel of sitting Justices from the Windsor community, Justice Lloyd Dean, Justice Renee Pomerance and Justice Douglas Phillips. Adetayo Adeyeye and Kelvin Adeleye-Apanisle received the Best Moot Team award, and John Seamann was recognized as the Top Oralist.
Approximately one year later, the 2020-2021 Lloyd Dean Moot Chair, Kendra Wilson, and her committee, carries the vision further! This year, University of Windsor, Professor Danardo Jones authored the Moot Problem and 68 undergraduate students registered for the competition. Under Ms. Wilson’s leadership, participation is increasing, fresh ideas are brought to the table, and new partnerships are formed.
Sponsorship and collaboration
We are grateful for the assistance of our partners, which increases our impact. The Lloyd Dean Moot is supported by BLSA Canada, Black Future Lawyers, Windsor Law, uWindsor Undergraduate Mock Trial Association, uWindsor Pre-Law Society and other pre-law programs at several institutions. Our corporate sponsors include Cassels Brock and Blackwell LLP and Aird & Berlis LLP. A special thank you to our creative team, Perfect Blend and JH Artistry. With your help, we can do even more! Visit our website to discuss how you can get involved.
We especially invite you to join us online at the 2nd Lloyd Dean Moot. You can virtually attend the final round and award ceremony on Saturday, March 6th, 2021, where you will meet the rising lawyers of tomorrow. Register here: Eventbrite Link.