A team of aspiring lawyers from The College of Law in York demonstrated their skills of reasoning by winning the inaugural Michelsberg Debating Competition, which saw the biggest law schools in Yorkshire go head to head.
Ed Duncan Smith and Rupert Oldham-Reid were competing against teams from the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and BPP Law School in Leeds at the event held last week at the Malmaison hotel in Leeds.
The pair, who are currently studying on the Graduate Diploma in Law course at The College of Law, won the prize for best team, with Ed also winning the title of best individual speaker.
College of Law winners of the inaugural Michelsberg Debating Competition, Rupert Oldham-Reid (left) and Ed Duncan Smith (right) pictured with event sponsor James Michelsberg (centre). The motion put forward for debate by the competition sponsor and organiser, James Michelsberg of Leeds-based Michelsberg Tailoring, was ‘This House believes in style over substance.’
It was judged by senior figures from the local business and legal arena: Andrew Stubbs QC of St Pauls Barristers Chambers in Leeds, David Knaggs, Leeds Managing Partner of national law firm Irwin Mitchell, and David Parkin, editor of regional business news website TheBusinessDesk.com.
Rupert Oldham-Reid said: “Taking part in the Michelsberg Competition was a hugely enriching experience and it was an honour to represent The College of Law. Challenges lay in formulating a speech with only minutes to prepare, while then tailoring it to suit whatever arose from the previous speakers' addresses. All the while you have to bat off interventions and think of a few incisive questions of your own. Winning was an unexpected treat but, for me, the real prize lay in participating in this event.”
Paul Aber, director of The College of Law in York said: “The judges commended the efforts of everyone involved, praising the high standard of all participants as well as the spirited nature of the debate and the good humour evident throughout. It is a considerable achievement by Ed and Rupert to have won and the judging panel, plus those of us who were there to support them, were treated to an impressive display of debating.”