Mooting 101

By Nick Pinidiya, Commerce/Law III

There’s a gamut of exclusive opportunities that comes with starting a degree in law, and I believe it’s worthwhile to try many of them. Mooting is one that is particularly important, though one that can be hard to understand at face value. This is because it is easy to misunderstand and is often so different from what you would have experienced.

Walking into that first moot can be a slightly daunting experience, but an experience that I would recommend to everyone. It’s a lose nothing but gain everything extracurricular opportunity that should be tried early. What is important to keep in mind is that everyone you’re with is as nervous and in the deep end as you are. I would say doing well is not what it’s about. It’s about doing something totally unlike other research or speaking based activities and makes you feel like a really cool, actual barrister for a few minutes. 

Of course, that’s not the only reason to give mooting a go, you are guaranteed to learn legal skills that will be hard to glean elsewhere but will become invaluable when you need them. What I found to be the most valuable thing to come out of my mooting experience has been legal research skills: I cannot stress enough how having to learn about an area of law you have not studied yet forces you to actually learn for yourself and learn how to research. This is something that will become even more useful as you work, do research, or even when you try giving advice to friends and family who think doing law means you know all the laws.

I walked into my first moot totally unprepared and not knowing what to expect, I look back on it as one of the better decisions I have made.