Enrolling in Law a moot point for school leavers


Breanna (left) and Hannah at the USC Law School

Two 2019 Chancellor State College graduates are living their dream as USC Law students, inspired to study after competing in the University’s moot court.

Breanna Medcalfe, 18, and Hannah Bartimote, 18, were already familiar with practising law before the simulated court, having participated in the Sunshine Coast Schools Mooting Competition presented annually by USC and Sunshine Coast Grammar School.

USC Lecturer in Law Dr Dominique Moritz said a moot was a simulated court hearing that imitated procedures in real courts.

“It’s lovely that these two students were motivated by the competition, in which they have to consider legal problems, prepare written submissions and use oral presentation skills to present arguments before a judge,” Dr Moritz said.

Breanna, of Ilkley, and Hannah, of Sippy Downs, completed Legal Studies in high school and were accepted into this year’s USC Bachelor of Laws/Bachelor of Criminology and Justice.

Both are the first in their immediate families to attend university and both are particularly interested in studying criminal law.

Breanna, who is working towards a police service career, said the mooting competition contributed to her university choice.

“The process of collecting facts and evidence to defend or prosecute against other teams helped me realise I’d like to pursue a career in criminal law,” she said.

“The highlight was presenting our case to judges in the USC Moot Court, which is an awesome facility for students.”

Breanna, who uses a motorised wheelchair and has limited mobility due to a spinal cord injury, said the University also had a great support system for people with disabilities.

“The support I’ve had from AccessAbility Services at USC has made the transition from high school to university so much easier,” she said.

“My tutors are very approachable and willing to help wherever they can, which has boosted my confidence in starting something new.”

She said attending Open Days and Experience USC events as a school student had showed her the benefits of smaller cohort sizes and student-focused learning.

Hannah said she also enjoyed the close involvement with USC when she was a student at Chancellor State College, which is located next to the Sippy Downs campus.

“I’m excited to be starting my degree and look forward to all the great opportunities at the University,” she said.

With the USC Sunshine Coast campus reopening to students after the COVID-19 closure, the students are delighted to again be facing courtroom scenarios with their aspiring legal peers.

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