Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem, against an opposing counsel which is executed through a simulated court hearing, (usually an appeal).
It is unlikely to find a Chamber or Law Firm that will not require a student to have mooted at least once. Prizes and awards are highly regarded and they also carry points in the initial shortlisting recruitment process (this may not be true for all Chambers and firms).
1. Legal Research & Reasoning– The development of these skills will determine your ability to represent your client effectively. Also the focus on the points of law is quite exhilarating and a great way to step out of the classroom structure – Issue-Rule-Apply-Conclude-Repeat (sigh!).
2. Advocacy – Some people are natural public speakers and may still struggle to present an argument effectively. In the UK, it takes intentional development of this skill to be effective. This can be contrasted with the USA where, as TV drama would indicate, delivery can include a bit more drama – ‘I object!’.
3. Barrister or Solicitor? – This is probably one of the best ways to identify which branch of the legal profession is the strongest match for you. In the United Kingdom, barristers appear in court whereas solicitors advise and interview clients (the roles include much more). Students who possess a fear of public speaking should note I have been told of formidable barristers who experience physical manifestations of fear before every court appearance.
4. Time Management – The cases are extremely long and chances are you need to read at least 3 to 4 but the fact that it was too time consuming is probably not a good answer to give to an interview panel. After all that is the point?
5. Develop Soft Skills & Networking – Mooting is a great way to meet new people, students who will be your colleagues in a few years and legal professionals such as barristers who are always eager, upon request, to allow some shadowing for a day or two, if possible.
Furthermore mooting problems will usually be based on the core modules, Contract, Criminal and Tort Law. If you have not covered the topic, then you will be years ahead by the time that you actually do. Also you may learn that you just love to have people listen to you.
If you like to travel, there are always international opportunities throughout the year. In 2016, I got to meet the lovely people and learn of the rich culture of Minsk, read here!
If you have not started mooting, there’s no time like the present. If you are a student at BPP University (LLB & GDL), do join our Facebook Page ‘BPP Mooting Society 2016-2017’ where all opportunities are shared. Today we had two teams at Queen’s University, Belfast.