Whether you want to be a solicitor or barrister, you should get involved in mooting while on the GDL. There are plenty of opportunities on offer, both at City and through the Inns of Court.
During your first few weeks at City, you will receive information about various mooting competitions. These are a mixture of one-off competitions run by barristers’ chambers organised just for City students, and national competitions which can last throughout the year (depending on how far you go).
Maitland Chambers run a one-off 'advocacy competition' specifically for City GDL students early in the academic year. Entrants must submit a brief skeleton argument on a problem set by Chambers. The four best entrants go through to the final and moot in front of a High Court Judge. Crown Office Chambers hold a competition just for City students across all academic programmes. Places are allocated on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are three rounds which run over three successive weeks.
City also enters several national external mooting competitions:
Teams are chosen on the basis of skeleton arguments on moot problems which are sent around in the first term. Teams of two will generally be selected for each competition. Depending on who you draw, these competitions can involve travel to far off corners of the UK (City will cough up the train fare). The early rounds are generally judged by barristers or academics and the finals are judged by High Court or Crown Court judges.
Other specialist competitions we may enter include:
The UKELA moot problem is focused on a relevant contentious issue in environmental law and policy. It is judged by a panel of environmental law barristers and academics. The final round is generally judged by the Supreme Court justice. The event itself is sponsored by a leading environmental law barristers' chambers, No.5 Chambers, and the prize includes: the opportunity to undertake mini pupillates at Chambers in London or Birmingham, cash prizes and mooting trophies.
The moots are free to enter, open to UKELA student members and non-student members, and are divided into two classes: UKELA Student Prize Moot (Junior) for undergraduate/postgraduate and Lord Slynn of Hadley Senior Moot for BPTC/pupils.
Big events within the Law School are the two internal competitions; the GDL Competition and the City Scholars Mooting Competition (for LLB2, LLB3, GELLB and LLM students).
The first round of the GDL Competition will be at the end of term one and the next three rounds (depending on how many students sign up!) will be in term two. The first two rounds will be judged by members of staff and the third by practitioners. The final will be judged by a High Court Judge. Lord Hoffmann (the Hoffmeister) judged the final in 2009 and Lord Mance between 2010 and 2013. Read about the GDL Final 2011-2012 and 2012-13 via Future Lawyer.
Anyone can enter and so it’s the best way of gaining some public speaking experience, even if you’re knocked out in the first round, though that’s obviously not ideal!
Term Two heralds the final competition of the year at City: the Crown Office Moot. This Moot happens thanks to the generosity of Crown Office Chambers: all rounds are judged by judges from their chambers and they also put up the prize money. See info above in the Chambers Competitions section.
Outside of City, the Inns of Court lay on several mooting competitions throughout the year. Check the mooting pages of your Inn to see when their mooting competitions are held and how to enter. You’ll generally be up against BPTC students – it’s always fun to beat people who supposedly have more experience that you. The competitions at the Inns also tend to be on more interesting areas of law than your standard ‘postal rule of acceptance moot. For instance, in 2009 there were moot problems on clinical negligence, public international law and even space law (ie who owns the moon).
Inner Temple organise an Inter-Varsity Moot which is open to all - team selection usually happens around November. Teams of City students have won this competition on many occasions, including 2016-17 (James Gardner & Edward Gilmore) and 2017-18 (Eno Elezi & Henrietta Boyle). Lincoln's Inn hold an inter-provider moot competition for their students via speed-mooting heats, usually around November. Middle Temple hold the Rosamond Smith Mooting Competition annually for its GDL and BPTC members.
Mooting can be hard work. But it’s a lot of fun and is great preparation for interviews later in the year where you’ll often have to do submissions and presentations.
This moot is organised by The Times and 2 Temple Gardens and is open to all those registered as students. Top prize is £4000, runner-up gets £2000 and all four finalists have a mini pupillage organised with 2TG. Just find yourself a partner!
The Chambers of Francis Taylor Building run this fantastic moot, open to all undergraduates, GDL and BPTC students. Teams of two can enter, with no bar to the number entering from any one institution. First stage is a written one, with teams sending in two skeletons based on the original moot problem: one seeking permission to appeal, the other resisting.
The eight highest-scoring teams will be invited to the semi-final.
City students have a great track record in this competition, winning in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
City usually enters one or two international moots a year, these change year on year.
The Monroe E. Price International Media Law Moot Court Competitionis organised by the Programme in Comparative Media Law & Policy at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, University of Oxford, in collaboration with the International Media Lawyers Association (IMLA). The moot's aim is 'to expand and stimulate an interest in Media Law and Policy among students from law and other disciplines, who will develop expertise in arguing a case before an international bench of judges from different legal systems and backgrounds'.
Information on the EHRMCC can be a little sketchy, however they will release the problem before requesting written pleadings for both the applicant and defendant from universities all over Europe before a set number of teams go forward to the regional (oral) finals. A City team (Ben Lewy, Miguel Rodriguez, Douglas Grant and Margherita Cornaglia) won this competition in the 2016/17 academic year, read all about it via Future Lawyer.
Now in its 26th year, the Vis Moot is prestigious and usually attracts participants from over 60 countries. It aims to 'foster the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes through its application to a concrete problem of a client and to train law leaders of tomorrow in methods of alternative dispute resolution'.
You can view problems from past years via the Vis website to give some idea of what is involved.