What exactly is mooting?|
A simple question, but it is surprising how many in the legal world, as well as outside it, have no idea what a mooting competition is.
In a moot, two pairs of 'advocates' argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a 'judge' (normally a lecturer or postgraduate student). To win, you do not necessarily have to win the legal case, but must make the best presentation of your legal arguments.
Mooting is a useful supplement to a law degree, and many universities and colleges make it a compulsory part of law courses, but it is also possible, and very beneficial, for non-lawyers to moot. Very little knowledge of law is required, but it is useful to know the legal principles which apply to UK appeal cases (the use of precedents etc.).
Mooting is useful for developing legal skills of analysis and interpretation, but also personal skills of argument and public speaking. Most importantly of all, it is great fun. There is nothing quite like the feeling of driving home a crucial point, or defeating your opponents' arguments with irrefutable authority. To get the most out of mooting, a lot of work is required, but as many experienced mooters will tell you, it is well worth it!
Mooting is also useful, of course, for those considering a legal career, either as a solicitor or barrister. As Broadway House Chambers put it:
"Anyone applying for pupillage ... should be a first rate lawyer with a degree of at least Class 2.2 and experience in a chambers would be desirable. Working with FRU or other voluntary work of a similar nature and mooting or public speaking would also be helpful." (our emphasis)
Mooting is enjoyable and worthwhile. What more could you ask for?
Where can I have a go?
Many universities now have a mooting course or module available as part of a law degree. It may also be available to non-lawyers - check with your law department. If not, student law societies generally run their own mooting programme, often featuring internal competitions. Contact details for your local mooting organiser may well be listed here. National and international mooting competitions are also run annually, with increasingly large cash prizes.
Failing that, why not start up your own mooting society? Almost everything you need, except the mooters, is available from Mooting Net!