A moot is a legal debate in a hypothetical courtroom setting in which students pretend to be barristers arguing a disputed point of law in front of a judge. The first few rounds will consist of two mooters in front of one or more judges. At the later stages it will become 4 mooters, each arguing a separate point of law.
Those taking part will be given a fictitious scenario in advance, laying out the facts of the case and which side they will be arguing for. They will usually have a few weeks in order to prepare an oral submission between 10 and 15 minutes long. They will present their argument to the moot judge who will offer a brief judgement on the law before announcing who won the moot. Students will be marked on a variety of criteria including skeleton arguments (an outline of your argument presented to the judge before you speak), courtroom manner and presentation of your argument. Those who rank in the top half will go on to the next round.
Mooting is perhaps the closest experience to actually appearing in court that a student can have whilst at university. The legal profession is becoming increasingly difficult to enter into and mooting will have a positive impact on overall employability. Applications for solicitors' firms and barristers chambers frequently ask candidates to provide experience in advocacy or mooting. Even if the individual is not interested in pursuing a legal career, students usually become more confident and capable in their research and presentation skills and public speaking.
Students participating do not need to be concerned about the legal knowledge required. For the first few rounds problems will be based on areas of law that have already been covered in their studies; usually tort, contract, and sometimes criminal. Prior to the first round a demonstration of a moot will be shown in addition to a workshop in order for potential participants to gain some insight into the technique involved and how to present their argument. The workshop is also a chance to ask any questions they might have before signing up.
It should not be forgotten that ultimately mooting is a competition. The law school has an excellent reputation for mooting and it consistently remains an extremely popular activity every academic year. Accordingly there are prizes for the finalists. Those who do well may also be offered the opportunity to represent Hull in one of the national mooting competitions.
Mooting is great way to meet other law students and is beneficial in so many ways. If you are interested you can sign up on the notice board in the 4th floor of the Wilberforce building. The Demonstration will be held on Wednesday 12th October. If you have any questions at any stage you can also contact the Mistress of the Moot, Katie Blake, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The time and location of the demonstration will be made available shortly.