It’s a funny word. But you could say its oddness is appropriate to the unique experience. As a Law student, you’ll find that a lot of your time is spent learning and listening. But at some point, you’re going to have to answer a question, and someone will ask you why you think that way. And then you need to give reasons why.
Now imagine having to put yourself into a wild scenario and stepping into the shoes of someone whose actions you might not agree with. It’s a little bit harder.
On top of that, you want to make sure the way you’re speaking isn’t taking away from the quality of what you’re saying. A lot of communication is rhetoric. Great arguments are sometimes ruined by bad delivery. Having a conversation with someone who has too many run-on sentences can get quite frustrating.
On the other hand, we’re in law school, not work. We read, highlight, take notes, and listen and participate in class, churning out essays after learning about certain topics. It’s a lot of time on a laptop and can sometimes feel a bit disconnected from the reasons you’re studying Law at all. While what we’re learning are the bases that will inform our decisions and color our reasoning, and it’s fascinating to understand how supreme court judges think, I think it’s safe to say that real life isn’t so much like having one month to write an essay.
Basically, they are practice court competitions where you get given limited time to look at a fact scenario, read similar cases in the past, and write submissions defending your client, then presenting oral submissions. It’s intense, you’re put on the spot, you have to say things like ‘in the interests of justice,’ and be as clear and articulate as you can. The great thing is that you get judged by real lawyers and judges. You slip into a persona of someone as reasonable, rational, and clear as possible, channeling the law almost like science to show why your client should win, why the justice of the case lies with them. You test yourself, test the strength of your arguments. One of the best parts is how many people you meet and friends you make. It’s almost like watching people sharpening their minds in action. In those circumstances, you tend to form tighter connections than you would in a lecture theater, learning to trust others and work as a team. Mooting is very addicting.
Law school is full of good opportunities to prepare you for the real world. At the start of the year, we were told to get to know our peers. “They will be your future colleagues.” Even though it’s good to do the required work, actively moving in the circles and challenging yourself is what will prepare you, I think. And just imagine – when you actually do start working, you’ll have had plenty of practice.
The Mooting Society will keep running moots online this semester! I highly recommend trying it, and definitely once we are in person again (fingers crossed). I’ve attached a link to their website below.