Following the discovery of the body of a Hollywood starlet on a private beach in Monte Carlo, suspicion fell on the esteemed guests staying at the Prince of Bavaria's palace. Each of the guests (the Prince himself; a fragile princess; an eccentric film director; a film star about to get her big break; the world's top female golfer; a Scottish colonel awarded the Victoria Cross; and a renowned female wartime pilot) found themselves connected to the murder with each having a motive to kill. In order to solve the crime, the guests, (the first year trainees) had to use their excellent skills which they have all developed while completing the first nine months of their traineeships at Morton Fraser.
It may seem a slightly unconventional way for a group of twenty-somethings to spend their Saturday evenings, but the idea came upon us one evening at MF monthly staff drinks. (We're quite a social bunch here at MF.) We were chatting about how we rarely see the Glasgow trainees (there are 7 first year trainees spread across two offices) and wondering how we could do some team bonding. Further on in the evening, someone mentioned how they had always wanted to throw a Murder Mystery Party and everyone agreed - and thus our murder mystery party was born.
We started organising very shortly after, the hardest part being coordinating seven people's busy schedules and deciding where to hold it. We decided to carry on in the tradition of other trainee groups from the firm and go away for a whole weekend. Amazingly we managed to agree on dates and location without too much fuss! That's teamwork.
Turns out Murder Mystery Parties are straight forward enough to organise with a little help from Google and Amazon. Two of our number volunteered to organise this part of the weekend and they gave us a booklet which told us general information about our characters, some questions to ask the other participants, and occasionally some shared dialogue. All the while maintaining whatever ridiculous accent we had decided to go with for the evening, maintaining the old adage that all lawyers are actors at heart.
As the game progressed, we each learned something new about the plot and our character's involvement, my character being the female wartime pilot. At the end we were prompted to say who we thought the murderer was and, being cast as the murderer and not exactly sure of my motive at that point in the evening, I found it hard to keep a straight face through the accusations. Nevertheless, only one of the other trainees managed to guess that I was the guilty one, due to my convincing everyone of my innocence by way of an absolutely spot on English accent. Celebrations ensued of a job-well-done and we thereafter lapsed into a full break down of the evening.
All through the evening, it was easy to be reminded of the skills needed to be a good lawyer. Reasoning and cross-examining skills were very much needed that night (thanks to MF for our recent training session in interviewing skills!) but for me the most important skill was good communication.
Despite now being a confirmed criminal, I would highly recommend the experience! It was a great way to spend a weekend (Monday included!) with a group of friends and would do it again with such a great group of people. We all really enjoyed getting to know each other better and spending time outside of the office environment. Everyone worked really hard at costumes and getting into character and I think some of us might have found a passion in amateur dramatics.
As for me, I'm thinking of taking up flying lessons… and plotting my next murder (mystery party)!