large firms, do care what you do outside of the billable, and for Fox Rothschild, it is no exception. There are different categories or buckets that are important to them when going up for partnership and one of them is involvement as a citizen of the community. It’s probably not a deciding factor, but it definitely helps being able to say ‘these are things that I do in the community to give back.’” Learning to edit and give feedback on the writing of others is a good skill set to learn, Toft said. Coaching helped him transition into a place where he would assign work to younger associates at his firm. It also helped in other ways. “It is surprising how often a question [that arises for moot court projects] relates to a practice that I had in a case,” he said. “One year when I was guest coaching, I took the brief with me and used some of the case law that they had already done as a jumping off point for my associates to start looking into for a very similar issue. So, [coaching] can be helpful in staying up to date on the issues that are being addressed in the legal community in that moment.” Toft encourages others to consider coaching IP Moot Court. “IP doesn’t have to be the area of your specialization. We are all smart individuals, and we see how to best approach the issues. How you lay out a brief is going to be the same, how you attack oral arguments is going to be the same. Anyone can do it and bring a perspective that will be helpful to the competition.” “At the end of the day, my attitude has always been to give my
Adam Szymanski, left, a current coach of the IP Moot Court team and an associate attorney at Patterson Thuente IP, and coach Lea Westman ’15 J.D., right, congratulate then students Kiersten Idzorek ‘20 J.D. and Lee Bennin ‘19 J.D., center, on making it to the quarterfinals at the AIPLA Giles Rich Moot Court Competition in 2019.
and the coaches, but it is about giving the students the tools to succeed in their careers and to build relationships. My ultimate goal is to see them succeed long term, both in their careers and just in general as people.”
students the tools to succeed,” said Westman, who has started her fifth year of coaching the IP Moot Court team and is not making predictions about advancing to nationals. “Don’t get me wrong, winning is great. The prestige is great for St. Thomas, the students, the firms
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