–From Melissa John, Northeastern University School of Law, Date of event: 2001
Having gone straight from college to law school, I didn’t even own a suit by the time first-year mock oral arguments came around. The weekend before I was scheduled, I hit Filene’s and bought a brand new “power suit.” I looked pretty sharp, felt pretty good, and come oral argument time, I was ready to blow them away.
As I put the suit on, I realized, in terror, that there in very obvious plain view was the shoplifting tag that the Filene’s clerk had left on my jacket! Not having any time to stop at a store to get it removed before the argument, I just went to school, hoping no one would notice. Wouldn’t you know, the first words out of my opponent’s mouth were: “Your Honor, opposing counsel is a common criminal and shoplifter, how can you believe anything this woman says?!”
Needless to say, that comment broke the ice, and I was able to make my argument with a lot less tension.