“It’s the Olympics for law students,” Law Games co-president and JD candidate, Mischa Smolkin, said seriously when asked what exactly the Law Games are.
More specifically, law schools from across the country send teams of anywhere from “15 to 60 people” to compete in a series of traditional and less traditional sports, with a couple academic challenges thrown in. Allard Law hosted the event this year from January second to fifth.
Co-presidents Smolkin and Scott Whittley, both 3Ls, have participated in the Law Games since they were young 1Ls. “We really enjoyed participating in the Law Games in the past,” Smolkin explained, “and we wanted to give more students at Allard the opportunity to take part.” Having it on campus ensured students could avoid the travel and accommodations costs, making it much more accessible.
And it showed. Allard Law’s team was 82 people strong.
This year Smolkin and Whittley wanted to make sure all participants got a chance to take part in the full four-day event. “Often, if teams didn’t make it into the finals, they wouldn’t have much to do on the last couple days of the Games,” Smolkin explained. So Tug of War and Spikeball were introduced to expand the types of sports participants were competing in.
It’s not just games, though; a little fun is thrown in. Each Law Games is themed, with this years’ theme being Game of Thrones—or, rather, Game of Laws. Each school created their own sigil and tag line. Allard Law’s was “Winter is Never Coming” though the unexpected snow made it a touch off-brand.
“We were really impressed with how much schools got into not just the theme, but all of the other events,” Smolkin said. Events such as a talent show and trivia night where law students could ensure the full spectrum of all of their skills were put on display.
Planning the event was a long process with a lot of people involved. It took “probably six to seven months of full-time work,” Smolkin estimated. Besides him and Whittley, there was a team of 15 executives and numerous other volunteers who took part.
Allard Law took home the Soccer trophy as well as the Moot Court trophy, but were fierce competitors throughout the competition.
The University of Western Ontario dominated the competition, but a few other schools were able to grab some of the hardware at the catered awards ceremony on the last night of the Games.
- Talent Show Cup: University of Saskatchewan
- Law Games Cup: Dalhousie University
- Spirit Cup: University of Ottawa
- Sports Cup: University of Western Ontario
- Soccer Trophy: University of British Columbia
- Ultimate Trophy: University of Toronto
- Football Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Badminton Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Basketball Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Volleyball Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Handball Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Spikeball Trophy: University of Toronto
- Tug of War Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Dodgeball Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Water polo Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Floor Hockey Trophy: University of Western Ontario
- Moot Court Trophy: University of British Columbia
- Trivia Trophy: University of Victoria
Sponsorship is extremely important for this event and Smolkin expressed his gratitude to all of the sponsors who, in total, contributed $40,000 to the event.
- Headline Sponsor: Scotiabank
- Platinum Sponsors: Allard School of Law; McMillan LLP; Blakes, Cassels & Graydon LLP; LexisNexis
- Gold Sponsors: Norton Rose Fulbright; Osler, Hoskin, & Harcourt LLP; Bennet Jones LLP; Stikeman Elliot LLP
- Silver Sponsors: Lawson Lundell LLP; Westbank; BAM Communications; LMS Group; Cascades
- Bronze Sponsors: Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP; Kal Tire; LaBarge Weinstein LLP; KazLaw Injury Lawyers; Miller Thomson LLP; Kornfeld, Mackoff & Silber LLP; University of British Columbia; Evo Car Share; Manning Park Resort; NorthAm Brewery