Updated: Apr 2
AUTHOR- SHRAILEEN KAUR*
EDITOR- RIYA LUHADIA & MURTUZA GADYALI
Before providing the ultimate guide to skills that a student should possess to excel in the moot court, I would like the reader to deviate its attention towards the basics, i.e., what is mooting? What is the importance of mooting? What are the do’s and don’ts of mooting?
WHAT IS A MOOT?
Moot means something open to question, i.e., debatable. Moot court tells the mock court wherein students, specifically law students, debate any imaginary cases to get an overview of litigation practice. It takes place in front of the judge, and students in moot (called mooters) argue on the point of law.
WHAT IS THE IMPORTANCE OF MOOTING?
1. It helps an individual develop communication skills that help him/her put forward a strong point of view.
2. It helps law students get an overview of how the cases are argued in the court of law.
3. It helps the students to inculcate various debating/arguing skills, which helps them in real-life litigation.
4. Participating more in moot court helps law students to build confidence to present the case in front of the judge.
5. Participating regularly in the moot court helps the students get familiar with the proceedings in actual courtrooms.
DO’S AND DON’TS WHILE MOOTING
1. Don’t rush: While being in an oral argument, remember not to rush, have an adequate speed while speaking, and clarify words.
2. Conscious Argument: Ensure that the idea presented by you is correct; it is always advisable to write the argument beforehand to frame the theories and facts in a particular sequence, which ultimately helps in speaking these arguments fluently.
3. Be a good listener: Being a mooter makes sure that you listen carefully to your opponents’ arguments. Mooting is not just about presents your argument mooting includes pointing out weaknesses in the opponent’s arguments.
4. Be respectful: One can never deny that the environment in a court is always heated, but this doesn’t give anyone a trespass to be disrespectful towards the judge or the opponents. In case your opponent wrongly cites something, you can express it in a very polite and respectful manner.
5. Body language: A report published by Oxford University has mentioned that mooters are given fewer marks during moot because of their lousy body language, and specific activities like biting nails, rubbing hands show nervousness and anxiety mooter. It becomes essential for the mooter to moot with a lot of confidence and self-belief.
6. Be straightforward: Many people think it is necessary to make things confusing to win the argument, but that is not the case. To get the decision in your favor, you must question the right thing, answer the right thing along with being direct and straightforward.
SKILLS THAT AN INDIVIDUAL SHOULD POSSESS TO EXCEL IN MOOTING
1. Strong communication skills: Communication skills play a significant role in a law student’s life. Students must have good oral as well as written communication skills. A prominent part of the skills to be possessed by a mooter is to persuade the judge by his/her convincing ability, which can only be developed by practicing better communication.
2. Research skills: Research skills not just includes digging around the internet and gathering information. Researching consists of an individual’s ability to gather data, filter the data to collect relevant information, and then use it in such a way that turns out totally in your favor. Students should be able to research the matter, case laws and analyze them in a short period.
3. Logical and analytical: The mooter’s fundamental job is to win the argument and get things in his favor. Hence, a mooter is supposed to be analytical to understand things better and simultaneously. Logic in the court of law can never betray an individual. All the laws are ultimately made out of reason only. Being logical and analytical is something that an individual cannot compromise on, especially at mooting.
4. Unquestionable people skills and mind-reading ability: An individual while mooting has to deal with various challenges, and it becomes quite easy to deal with them; you can read people’s minds (Human psychology), which would ultimately help get the truth out of an individual. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert in nature. You have to communicate with people to know them.
5. Problem-solving ability: An individual can excel in the moot court only if he/she can solve the problem not just by his opinion but with the help of facts, laws, and he /she could support the decision by providing evidence.
It would not be wrong to say that a good mooter would be a good future lawyer. Being a good mooter requires all the skills and abilities which ultimately have to be possessed by a lawyer too. Hence, it can be concluded that mooting helps to develop the required skills and ultimately it helps to bring a lawyer out of a mooter who is ready to face all the challenges in the court of law.
1. Abhinandan; Mooting skills premier, https://www.legallyindia.com/views/entry/mooting-skill
2. Graham Kerr, Mark McAuley, David Kerr, and Gavin Ward; https://www.youblawg.com/law-school/ultimate-guide-to-mooting
3. Bryon Mixon; 9 skills to become a Successful Lawyer; https://amazelaw.com/9-skills-successful-lawyer/
*The Author is a 1st-year B.A.LLB (Hons) student at ICFAI University, Jaipur.
Disclaimer: The opinions and views in this article are personal and independent opinions of the author. VAIDHA doesn't hold any liability arising out of this article.