Article by – Aparna Sharma
TIP 1 : choose your team wisely
FIVE TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST MOOT COURT well the Moot courts can go totally wrong if the team has friction. I’ve seen people pass the blame when they under perform. I’ve seen such extents of bickering where each of them wants to blame the other for the screw up. But that’s definitely not how it works EXAMPLE
Kiara always argue first and she would more than often speak from a legal perspective highlighting the nitty-gritty’s of all the Sections and Articles as the case would have been.
I would see the judges grill her with questions about the law and would watch how she would take each and every question with grace and answer them with such sensible responses. I’ve always been in awe of her legal knowledge – it’s awesome!
When my turn came, the judges would have more or less been pretty satisfied with the legalities. I would take the case on facts and argue in a manner where logic would work best.
kiara and I, would not even once blame each other for screwing up. All “casualties” were dealt with utmost maturity. For us, the moot was all about giving it our best shot – winning or losing wouldn’t be the criteria.
TIP 2 : Research is important
The most important part where I often goofed up. I would seldom spend good 2/3 hours a day for research before go for mooting. A lot of us think research is not important and we could probably go all extempore before judges.
Always ensure that you pick a moot up at least a month before the date to send the memorials is due, and do your research well.
TIP 3: LANGUAGE IS NOT A BARRIER
No matter how weak your language is as long as you are making a point you’re doing well!
Language is not a barrier which prevents one from expressing oneself. If I say “I say you have to do well in a moot” or “I am telling you to do well in a moot” and if what I am trying to say has been conveyed, why worry?
Remember that no one in a moot court nor the judging speaks Shakespearean English!
Let language not stop you from giving your best short.Always remember that your speech doesn’t define you – your knowledge and mannerism does.
TIP 4: DRAFTING
Keep your notes tidy. Handwriting can be difficult to read so make sure your writing is neat or your notes are typed well
Make sure you include full citations and references for any material relied upon. An index card with a list of key authorities and a summary of cases/articles is also useful.
Practice your oral argument several times before presenting. Remember that parliamentary debates tend to do really well in moots.
TIP 5 : Present yourself carfeully
While starting off, I would say – “With the kind consent of your ladyship, may I collectively refer to the bench as your honor?” This is what creating an impression is about.
Speak slowly and carefully. Try to engage the court by varying the tone of your voice and making eye contact with the judges where possible.
Bear in mind that this is an exercise in communication.
Remember also that you are presenting a legal submission on the facts of the moot problem and the court is only interested in the law and policy reasons why they should find in favor of your client. It is not interested in your personal opinion about your client’s circumstances. Be careful to detach yourself from the facts while also representing your client. so here are the FIVE TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST MOOT COURT.
- Use precise & simple English in your memorials.
- Present facts from the point of view of the side which is presenting the memorial
- Tackle obligations which might come from the other side negate or distinguish the case that might be used by the other party.
- Use spiral binding or good quality paper, presentation matters.
- Have multiple copies of every document you want to use. Have one copy for every judge & save time!
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