The Practice and Compulsory Moots are round the corner. To help you breeze through this challenge of Law School, here is a list of some basic do’s and don’ts with regard to mooting that we believe will be of some help in your preparation:
- Prepare your skeleton argument, authorities and bundles beforehand and ensure you familiarise yourself with your notes.
- Ensure your bundle is neat and authorities are accessible.
- Anticipate the questions the judge may ask and how you would answer them.
- Time yourself and perhaps apportion some time for the judge’s questions.
- Be punctual – an overused cliche, perhaps, but first impressions count. Avoid being barred from the moots due to tardiness.
- Speak clearly, with an even, comfortable pace.
- Remember to speak formally and use the formalities “my lord”/”my lady”.
- Treat it as a formal conversation on the relevant points of the law with the judge.
- Always be polite, even if/when disagreeing with the judge.
- Prepare a script and read off it – eye contact is key.
- Fidget unnecessarily or make excessive hand gestures.
- Read out entire paragraphs of text from cases or other authorities – only quote what’s necessary, or provide a cogent summary.
- Panic when your judge asks questions. Take a moment to carefully consider your answer. A difficult question is a perfect opportunity for you to display your advocacy skills.
Having said that, nothing beats consistent practice. We wish all first-year law students all the best in their Practice and Compulsory Moots!