Abbie LeBlanc works well as part of a team—whether it's a group of 30 on the field or a group of two in the courtroom.
The third-year Tommie has not only been preparing for the upcoming women's rugby season, she recently earned first place at the Nelson Mandela World Human Rights Moot Court Competition in Geneva, Switzerland, along with fourth-year student Navy Vezina.
The STU duo was well-matched—Vezina was the fourth overall oralist at the competition and LeBlanc was fifth. The difference in their score was a slim 0.15 per cent.
"That was the difference between us and Oxford University, because we only qualified over them by 0.03 per cent," she said. "Oxford's oralists came third and sixth, so it seemed better to have two closer matched in the middle."
The STU team topped the University of Buenos Aires in the final round, after beating Yale Law School in a head-to-head and finishing first overall in the pre-final rounds.
LeBlanc, who resides in Fredericton, NB, said the style of education at St. Thomas, coupled with the Moot Court class, is good preparation for this kind of competition.
"Every student at STU has the opportunity to speak out, voice opinions, and learn the skills needed to make clear and organized arguments," she said. "STU provides a lot of opportunities to practice those skills in every class, and that transfers well into these kinds of competitions."
LeBlanc qualified for the World Moot Court Competition as part of the six-person STU International Law Society that submitted a brief which finished in the top five in their United Nations region. She hopes their success will encourage other students to get involved in activities on campus.
"I'm really proud of all six of us, and I hope this encourages people to keep doing things like this at STU," she said. "Find something you love to do and do it for fun."
LeBlanc was a member of two of the three silver-medal winning Tommies women's rugby teams. She intends to continue competing with the Green and Gold while pursuing a triple honours in Political Science, Great Books, and Human Rights.