Over the weeks leading up to the 2020 Writing Competition, we will be posting interviews with some of our members who wrote on to UMLR in the 2019 Writing Competition. This series will look at the best practices for competitors to follow during the Competition and what pitfalls to avoid. The third in this series is an interview with Volume 75 Senior Notes & Comments Editor, Rosana Fernandez.
Q: What responsibilities did you have over the summer you participated in the Writing Competition?
A: I was a judicial intern for the honorable Robert A. Mark in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Q: Despite these responsibilities, what motivated you to participate in the Writing Competition?
A: I wanted to be on UMLR ever since I found out about it. Despite not grading on, I worked hard all summer to improve my writing so that I could write-on. Working with Judge Mark helped me sharpen my writing for the competition.
Q: What was the most challenging thing for you about the Writing Competition?
A: The time constraint and the amount of reading was a challenge considering the fact that I also had to write the Comment within the week of the Write-On Competition.
Q: What was your strategy for approaching the material? Did you start by reading all of the materials? Or did you approach it a different way?
A: My strategy was to find an angle that I felt I could write about based on the information provided. I then discarded all of the cases and articles that were not relevant to that angle so as to narrow down my reading time.
Q: If you had to do anything differently during the Competition what would you have done?
A: I would try and not second guess my instincts regarding the strength of my arguments.
Q: What would you say was the best thing you did do during the Competition?
A: Time management is the best thing I did. I made a schedule for myself so I knew what I would be doing every day of the competition and avoided wasting time.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would you give to someone participating in the Writing Competition this year?
A: Follow the Bluebook, don’t doubt your potential, and trust that your hard work will pay off!
Q: Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share about the Competition not covered by these questions?
A: I cannot emphasize enough how important time management is for your success in this competition. Good luck!