Mooting is commonly offered as a part of the Law School experience. It involves debating a point of law, often in a courtroom setting, using a fictional scenario. Here, Emma Jones, lecturer in law and member of the Open Justice team at the Open University, offers expert insight for Lawyer Monthly.
Mooting can be seen as complicating, time-consuming and even rather daunting, but here are four reasons why it’s important to take part:
- It helps prepare you for legal practice
Mooting is extremely important if you’re considering becoming a barrister or specialising in advocacy work. However, other legal professionals, particularly those engaging in contentious work, will also need to be prepared to argue their case orally. This could be in a courtroom setting, applying similar skills within forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution or conducting a negotiation.
- It helps develop your legal skills
As a law student you will have to tackle more than your fair share of problem-style questions! Working on a mooting scenario can help you sharpen up the skills you need to analyse, research and write your answer to such questions. If you are going on into practice, these skills will be invaluable in dealing with the real-life situations presented to you by clients too.
- It helps you with your wider employability skills
Even if you have no intention of going into legal practice, oral presentation skills are very important in most walks of life. From giving a talk in a boardroom, presenting a new idea to clients and leading a class or seminar, to pitching for work and impressing at a job interview, you will need to draw on the type of valuable skills you can develop through mooting.
- It’s fun!
Last but not least, mooting can be exciting and enjoyable. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people and try something new whilst at the same time developing your knowledge and skills.
Many of these points are echoed by Jennifer Wharton, Mistress of the Moots at The Open University Law Society, which runs a mooting programme and offers mooting workshops, giving training to students who are interested in taking part in mooting activities. Jennifer states:
“I would encourage all Law students to get involved in mooting as it helps develop legal research and oral advocacy skills. It is a great opportunity to meet other students and members of the legal profession and, although challenging, can be very rewarding. It’s never too early to get involved!”
In other words, mooting is certainly important. So why not ask around your Law School or contact its Law Society to ask about mooting opportunities you can become involved in.