About this segment: Person of the Month is an initiative by the University of Malaya Law Review which aims to feature a prominent member of the University of Malaya's Law Faculty towards the end of each month. The purpose of this segment is twofold. Firstly, to give due recognition to the contributions of our student leaders and secondly, so that their achievements might inspire other members of the faculty towards greater successes.
Dayana Jainon or better known as Dayana
Dayana Najwa Jainon, or better known to the members of the faculty as Dayana, is a final year law student at the Faculty of Law, University of Malaya. Looking back on her four years in law school, Dayana is known to be an outstanding individual who has participated in various moot competitions. Currently a member of the Legal Aid Clinic and a coach to junior mooters, she was not only the director for the 2016/17 Orientation Week Committee, but also a receiver of the Dean’s List Award in her third year.
Recalling her journey as a mooter, Dayana admitted that she did not do well at her first attempt during the Internal Moot Competition (IMC). However, she did not give up and later participated in the Novice Arbitration Mooting Competition (NAMCO), where she won the “Best Oralist” award. Soon after that, Dayana proceeded to represent the university in one of the most prestigious moot competitions, the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. Her team emerged as the champion in the national rounds and then represented Malaysia in the international rounds, which was held in Washington, D.C. In addition, Dayana participated in the annual Asia Cup Moot Competition in Japan, where the team bagged the “Second Best Memorial Award”. She later embarked on her last moot competition in Melbourne, Australia, where the team broke into the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Moot Court Competition.
Dayana and her Jessup teammates, at the National Rounds in IIUM
During the interview, Dayana talked about her struggles as a mooter. Mooting required her to balance her life, as she had to sacrifice her sleep and spend lesser time with family and friends. Nonetheless, the experience, knowledge and results gained from the competitions have compensated the losses and made it all worthwhile. Dayana generously provided advice to those who would like to attempt mooting but hesitate to do so due to fear of long-term commitment or lack of confidence. According to her, becoming a good mooter will only be a matter of “when”, rather than “if”. Therefore, aspiring mooters should be confident with themselves and also the goals they wish to achieve. Nevertheless, Dayana wishes to remind all law students that mooting is only a part of the experience offered by law school, and it should not be the yardstick to measure their performance in law school. She added, “It’s very much like doing sports, minus the sweat and muscle cramps. You still get that adrenaline rush when you submit in front of a bench of judges and you manage to answer the questions thrown out to you.”
Dayana and her Jessup teammates, at the International Rounds of Jessup in Washington DC
Putting her achievements in the mooting world aside, Dayana portrayed great leadership skills when she was appointed to be the director of the 2016/17 Orientation Week. Besides being an annual event which exposes freshmen to the various mechanics and activities in the faculty, Dayana believes that the Orientation Week is also a platform to nurture a strong foundation of batch unity, teamwork and mutual respect. She noted that the faculty is akin to the legal fraternity, where the circle is so small that classmates may work on the same case in the future, whether as colleagues or as opponents. Therefore, she believes in the importance of good bonding and networking. Although she was in the midst of preparing for the Asia Cup Moot Competition, Dayana had an incredibly good experience as Miss Director. Despite having to juggle between administrative work and preparations for the moot competition in the same span of time, she managed to pull off a successful Orientation Week with the dedication shown by her board of committees, who tirelessly assisted her in achieving their shared vision for a revamped and effective event.
Members of the Orientation Week Committee 2016
With regards to her experience as a student adviser for the UM Legal Aid Clinic, Dayana is very passionate in applying her legal knowledge to help those in need. The UM Legal Aid Clinic serves as a platform for law students to offer free legal advice to those who may not be able to afford legal representation, or those who may not even know where to seek help in solving their legal issues. Throughout her experience at the UM Legal Aid Clinic, she came to realise that many do not know their rights and that they may have been wronged. It is an eye-opening experience for Dayana, and she strives to do her best in preparing for legal advice.
Dayana and Latifa Haiqa representing the faculty in the National Client Consultation Competition
Dayana is also a diligent student who strives to maintain a balance between academics and extra-curricular activities. During her third year, Dayana received the Dean’s List award as a recognition of her outstanding academic achievement. Recently, Dayana and her team emerged as first runner-ups in the 2018 National Client Consultation Competition. She recounted that her achievement in academics is partially contributed by mooting as memorial-drafting helped her to answer law papers more structurally. On top of that, extra-curricular activities allowed her to manage her time more effectively by following a tight schedule. In addition, Dayana constantly reminds herself that she is responsible to not only herself, but also her parents. Thus, she is driven to do her best and never waver.
Dayana at the Asia Cup Tournament in Japan
Last but not least, Dayana is currently a mentor to the NAMCO team. She acknowledges that her experience has been nothing short of fulfilling as she witnesses her mentees grow and adapt well to the mooting culture. Since the faculty is sending participants to various moot competitions, she hopes that the quality of the faculty’s mooters will continue to thrive.
Dayana’s journey in law school has turned her into a diligent, passionate and accountable person. With a strong support system of family and friends, the pressure from law school will eventually become bearable. She encourages everyone to always cherish their moments in law school because four years will pass by unknowingly in a blink of an eye.
“You have to be responsible for your own life. If you’re sad, it’s you who has to fix it. If you’re happy, it’s your responsibility to share that joy with others. The path of your life is drawn by your own hands.”