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  • Writer's pictureThe Moot Times UCalgary Law

Spotlight: David Holub Interdisciplinary CleanTech Design Challenge

By Shakira Yazdani

Are you wondering whether your experience or previous studies in different fields will ever help you in your legal career? The answer is YES!

To give you an insight into legal practice, the Faculty of Law and the Schulich School of Engineering of University of Calgary, with the sponsorship of UCalgary Senator David Holub, a lawyer, mediator and conflict resolution trainer, held the one-day David Holub Interdisciplinary CleanTech Design Challenge event on June 25, 2022. This program aimed to educate students on the importance of lawyers and engineers being able to understand each other and work together.

In the professional world, your collaboration is as important as your contribution. This means that your knowledge of the law may not be that effective “if you don’t understand how other professionals think and work,” explains Holub.

In the David Holub Interdisciplinary CleanTech Design Challenge event, 4 Law students and 13 engineering students collaborated in 4 groups to provide solutions to some of our biggest climate challenges. They worked and researched together to provide a proposal and consult with the engineering and entrepreneurial faculty, and they also had guidance from UCalgary Law’s Business Ventures Clinic. Each group presented their projects to the industry judges at the end of the day, in the course of 10 minutes or less.

This program was a great opportunity for students to network with industry professionals, flex their entrepreneurial muscles, have something interesting to add to their resume, and as well as use their background knowledge in their legal practice. They also each had a chance to win $800 and $400 prizes.

“Coming from an engineering background, I was excited to enter a competition where I could use my technical skills, as well as the skills I’ve learned in law school and through my experience as a legal summer student,” says second-year law student Isaiah Martin.

“The challenge was a great way for law students to connect with folks from a variety of technical backgrounds,” he says. “A lot of the practice of law, particularly in Calgary, involves dealing with engineers and scientists in the energy sector. Learning how to communicate legal concepts to interdisciplinary teams, as well as trying to understand the more technical aspects of the industry, is an invaluable skill for lawyers looking to practise in Alberta.”

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