go ahead, make fun of the law

You’d think that there’s no need for a debate when an opportunity to poke fun at the law and legal practice arises. Yet that’s exactly what the legal fraternity demand. Typical.

The Golden Gavel is a public speaking competition that has been held annually since 1993 as part of Law Week, where ten brave competitors, generally legal practitioners, stand before an eminent adjudicator and about 500 peers and the public, to passionately speak on a topic, not of their choosing.

The topics are assigned at short notice – only the morning before, and all expect to hear mini-monologues that convincingly persuade and entertain. Delivered in five minutes, the rules allow for one bell to be sounded at three minutes, and two bells at five. By then the case should promptly come to a close.

Contestants that are not good at hearing themselves speak with confidence, with both wit and humour need not apply. They’re to be consistent, accurate and above hand (preferably unlike a certain Ms Mills – although she still did get £24.3 million…).

With last year’s topics including ‘Why you should never play spin the bottle with a lawyer’, ‘Top 5 Lawyer reality show ideas’ and ‘Borat’s Cultural Learning of Litigation for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan’, a big gavel really is needed.

The winner gets a Golden Gavel Trophy and goes on to represent NSW at the National Golden Gavel. If you have an objection, you can take it up with The Hon. Justice Ruth McColl AO.

NSW Young Lawyers Society

Golden Gavel 2008, Friday 4 April, 7.30am

Hilton Hotel Sydney, 488 George Street Sydney

Bookings essential (02) 9926 0270

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