Toulouse: meeting with Maud Zerah, winner of the Conference, an eloquence competition reserved for young lawyers

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Winner of the Conference, an eloquence contest reserved for young lawyers, Maud Zerah, a 31-year-old lawyer from Toulouse, tells how she found her way and what she feels when she pleads. Meet.

“I am a real lover of eloquence, I like this vertigo before pleading”. This is how Maud Zerah, a young 31-year-old lawyer living in Toulouse, justifies the many competitions she has passed since she set foot at the Toulouse law school. This young woman, sparkling, with a devastating smile, had the click for her vocation when she saw the poster for an eloquence competition when she was a student at the faculty of Toulouse. “It was called the Ace of the pleading and I was the witch’s lawyer in Hansel and Gretel in a mock trial”, she says, the smile still hanging on her lips.

Since winning that first competition, she “has done it again” as she likes to say. She notably rubbed shoulders while passing the Berryer conference, a verbal contest, created 150 years ago, where two candidates submit to acid and fierce criticism from their peers. “Clearly, we are being murdered but I have great memories of it,” recalls the lawyer born in Marseille but Toulouse by adoption.

“I dreamed of winning this competition”

Last competition won was that of the Conference, reserved for young lawyers with a maximum of five years at the bar. She walked away with the first place, that of first secretary of the Conference. “I’m not doing this for notoriety but because I’m crazy about pleading, I have a real passion for the verb, eloquence. It’s a space of absolute freedom”, she insists on explaining. It is on the theme “Bless you!”, that this generalist lawyer, with a very marked penchant for criminal matters, that she had to work on for several days before being subjected to the pressure of the jury composed of the President of the Bar, the Vice-Bâtonnier, two members of the bar association council and eight former secretaries. “I put my ego aside because I had missed it the previous year but I dreamed of winning this competition,” adds the 30-year-old.

Re-entry hearing this Friday

Between all these competition preparations, she devotes herself to the activity of her law firm based in Place Saint-Georges with her partner Me Cécile Nesen, a classmate met on the benches of the school of lawyers. Moreover, from this Friday, she will once again lend herself to the exercise of the speech during the traditional ceremony of the solemn Re-entry of the Toulouse Bar scheduled for 5.30 p.m. in the Grand’Chambre of the Toulouse Court of Appeal. . Before continuing with another competition, that of the Conference of the Great Oath scheduled for November 5 in the Basilica of Saint-Denis in the Paris region. “I admit that it’s a real drug for me”, she laughs while admitting that the adrenaline and the stress before having the floor and the eyes turned on her are always so difficult to manage. .

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