Take It From The Students

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Back in March 2010, 5 of our star mooters agreed to come along and be filmed having a roundtable discussion about mooting and their experiences. You'll be able to see footage of this in the clips below. Enjoy!


To view the videos you will need to have Adobe Flash Player on your computer.

Your first moot?

See if you can identify with these fears!

Hear Andrew, Thomas, Anita, Tessa and Thomas talking about what concerned them before their first experience of mooting. Learn about:

  • The 'detail'
  • Etiquette
  • Skeletons
  • Memorising speeches
  • The importance of practise, practise, practise!


Researching for a moot

Argghhh...Research is the scary bit. All kinds of things come to mind, mostly imagining being buried alive under a pile of books or finding yourself slumped over your laptop with the keyboard steaming.

The mooters talk through the use of primary and secondary sources and outline processes that worked for them.

Covered in this clip are:

  • Should you use google?
  • Keeping your head
  • Knowing when to stop
  • Read the problem!


Roles within mooting

The mooters clarify how the roles of junior and senior pan out (no - the junior is not the senior's whipping boy!).

Big issues covered include:

  • Importance of teamwork;
  • Consistency wins points;
  • Cross-referencing arguments with aplomb


Role of the judge

This clip sees you introduced to the knee-wobbling horror that is judicial intervention. Hopefully it will reassure you somewhat that everyone is a little daunted (OK terrified) of the judge questioning you and putting you off your stroke.

Our brave mooters cover the following:

  • What demeanour to adopt
  • Different types of judge (don't forget to see our accompanying guide Know Your Judge for more on this)
  • The perils of trying to 'read' judges
  • How effective your response to a judge's question can be


I'm on the losing side - help!

It's crazy world out there - many a moot has been won despite having the so-called 'losing' side of the argument. Put simply it's far more difficult to win when you have the more 'backed-up' side of the argument.

The mooters cover:

  • Importance of flexibility
  • 2 sides to every argument
  • Question even 'winning' authorities - have they been interpreted correctly?
  • Helpfulness of dissenting judgments
  • Detail - is the decision of the court binding or merely persuasive?


Writing a skeleton

This clip lays down the key points about skeleton arguments.

Including:

  • Not giving away whole argument
  • Importance of organisation/structure
  • Achieving a fine balance
Bone up...Thanks to Awen Photography on Flickr.com


Bundles (of fun)

Ah the bundle, at best an organised folder of authorities in full, complete with meticulous pagination and tabs, at worst a jumbled mess of random papers.

The 'right hand man' to any mooter, the bundle is a reflection on any mooter's ability; a disorganised bundle often equals a slapdash mooter. This won't impress any judge in the land. Our highly organised bunch share some tips and musings on the perfect bundle.

Aspects covered:

  • Timing - don't leave until the last minute
  • The mystery of the bundle tab shop
  • Highlighting
  • Contents page
  • Really? Copy the whole case?
  • Professionalism


Using authorities

A boring but essential one.

Covers:

  • How to cite
  • Secondary sources - to use or not to use?


What to do on the day

So the big day arrives - do you skip classes and spend hours in front of the mirror practising or just carry on as normal?

Our sage souls share strategies. Includes:

  • Don't panic!
  • Plan time
  • Resisting temptation to search legal databases for that special case
  • Talk to yourself (be careful with this one!)


How do I get the style and tone right?

What impression would you like to give to the judge? How will you stand up to having your every move scrutinised - it's not just what you say but how you say it.

Discussion points include:

  • Eye contact not eye balling?
  • Minimising flappage
  • Flexibility
  • Fine line between confidence and aggression/arrogance
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T! (Who didn't sing that in their head then?!)



Common mistakes (we made them so you don't have to!)

Our mooters share their screw-ups in order to save your blushes. There should be an award for that surely?

Topics convered include:

  • Modes of address
  • Listening to the judge
  • Resisting the casual
  • Phrases to avoid
  • Dealings with the judge


Avoid complications

It's not uncommon to get so uptight about a moot that you forget that a moot is simply a conversation, albeit with a few rules and some slightly unusual turns of phrase.

This clip really highlights the benefits of the no-frills approach:

  • Keep it simple
  • Use plain language
  • Be clear and concise if you want to be persuasive


What to wear?

No surprises in this clip, just common sense. However on the basis of the number of questions asked by students on this each year, seemed worthwhile to get our mooters talking about it.
Choices...Choices...Thanks to photojonny on Flickr.com


What to do when the panic sets in....

This happens to everyone at some point; that moment where your mind empties, the sweat prickles on the back of your neck everyone is looking at you expectantly. All the argument and authorities retreat into a remote dusty corner of your brain.

Unsurprisingly our mooters had a lot of tips to share on this one:

  • Ask for clarification
  • Develop rapport with judge
  • Pause
  • Resist any anttempt to lie or fudge; judges don't take this kindly
  • Move on if floundering
  • Remember judge's questions might be trying to guide you, not humiliate you


Why moot?

Any student of law knows there's an awful lot to cram in during the academic year; preparation for tutorials, reading, part0time work, maybe some pro bono, mini pupillages and hours dedicated to applications and interviews. Is it really worth trying to find a spot for mooting too?

*Well, yes! Our intrepid five elaborate on this:

  • Putting your academic law into practice
  • Confidence builder
  • Brain training
  • Practise being persuasive
  • Helps for coursework and revision
  • Networking with barristers and judges
  • Prepares you for advocacy on the BPTC, as well as the LPC


Sharing good (and bad!) experiences

A warm cuddly 'sharing experiences' clip complete with top tips on:
  • Balancing your emotions
  • Remembering to conclude - don't just fade out (See our live example of this in Top Tips)
  • Not over-thinking
Ahhhh...it's good to share (Thanks ryancr - flickr.com)



Some reassuring words...

Here's where you get pleasantly lulled into thinking it will all be fine actually! and Where can I sign up?

Reassurances include:

  • It gets easier!
  • It's not personal
  • It doesn't matter if you don't win (really?)



A HUGE thank you to our wonderful students from GDL 2009-2010:

  • Andrew Barns-Graham,
  • Thomas Bradfield
  • Tessa Buchanan
  • Anita Davies
  • Thomas Hope