Importance of moot court for law students in India

Importance of Moot Court for Law Students in India

This article on ‘Importance of moot court for law students in India: All you need to know’ was written by Madiha Khan, an intern at Legal Upanishad.

Introduction

Moot court is one of the co-curricular activities that are essential for every law student. Learning through a co-curricular activity helps in memorizing the focus topic. It improves the understanding of the topic in depth, such as the case laws, different provisions, and laws that might attract to that particular legal problem, various schemes enacted by the government, and, so on. There are also other competitions that a law student must give a try at least once, like client counseling, debates, mediation competition, and others that help law students in strengthening their skills and knowledge, and also helps them to figure out their goals.

What is a moot court?

A moot court is a type of competition in which law students present their arguments on hypothetical cases. Arguments are usually presented in the form of oral submissions made before the judge in the form of an appeal. The teams have to analyze the given legal issues, research them, draft the memorial according to the guidelines and present their case before a judge or panel of judges.

There are two teams, that is, the Petitioner and the Respondent; each team has to present their respective arguments and in between those arguments they have to answer the questions posed to them by the judges, after each team has presented their arguments there is a round of rebuttal where any team can rebut the arguments made by the opposite side with logical reasoning. Apart from the above-mentioned process, there is one more element that is very important and that is etiquette.

Etiquette here includes the manner of speaking, the use of distinct formal words in a specific situation and the decorum to be followed throughout the moot competition.[1] Note that the etiquette followed in courts is slightly different from moot courts and should not be mixed up.

Why is moot court important for a law student?

Most of the skills developed while competing in a moot court competition will help in future law practice. Mooting helps in building confidence in talking and articulately presenting our views. All skills need the training to improve and it is natural to make mistakes in the initial stages even those mistakes will help give you pointers that you can improve from. Mooting aid in boosting a person’s confidence remarkably to the point that even as a fresher or junior lawyer you will not be intimidated to speak and effectively present your case in front of the judge and the opposing counsel.

Importance of moot court for law students in India
Importance of moot court for law students in India

Tips for mooting:

  • While participating in moot courts students must always be alert and earnestly answer the judge’s query. 
  • While presenting the facts during arguments students must show how those facts favor their side and not just read the facts.
  • While the judge is speaking students should not interrupt them, doing so might cause a deduction in your scores.
  • During the oral presentation of arguments, students must have a clear picture of their case and the principal that supports their case which is also binding on the court.
  • Students can also cite precedence during arguments but do so only if they have a clear understanding of that case and the judgment passed in it.
  • If during the arguments if the student is unable to answer the judge’s question, they must just say that, “the Counsel pleads ignorance”. This saves the participant from negative marking.

Pivotal reasons for participating in moot court competitions:- [2]

  • Drafting is an all-important skill. A lawyer needs to draft a clear well-structured document. Drafting memorials can be the start of improving this crucial skill.
  • To prepare memorials enormous research work needs to be done, like going through the plethora of cases, articles, various laws, ordinances, etc. 
  • Writing skills mean articulately writing any material and legal documents needs to articulate they can’t be wordy.
  • Analytical skills can be in a variety of fields and this skill is needed to scrutinize any legal issues and provisions and to give the best possible solution to support your case. 
  • Presentation skill is a skill on how eloquently you can put forward your points that is at the same time also engaging, factual, and logical.
  • Mooting also helps to foster teamwork and managerial skills.
  • It inculcates confidence, composure, alertness, and presence of mind
  • The knowledge of legal maxims and applying it in the right context; comes under research and analysis. 
  • Competitions are indeed the best way to socialize and build connections with peers across the country.
  • There is a feedback round where contestants give each other feedback that will be helpful in the next round. 
  • Some moot court judges at times hire contestants as interns, who perform exceptionally well and it is immaterial whether you win or lose the competition.
  • It also aids students in improving their time management skills which is helpful not only during exams but also in your career.
  • Lastly, it is a fine addition to your resume. That will show you as a person who is proactive and takes initiative.

Suggestion

To make your research in finding cases simple use keywords, and use cite and cited by options to find similar cases. Also, cite as many relevant case laws as you can if the facts provided to you are crisp.

A common mistake to be mindful of is that the Prayer of the Petitioner and the Respondent are different. Prayer must be as concise as possible and make sure you keep to the format.

Conclusion

Mooting enhances drafting, legal knowledge, research, command over the formal language used in courts, interpersonal skills, confidence, and presentation abilities. Moot courts give students a preview of what the litigation side of the law is. It will also temper your mindset so that you’re not panic-stricken while representing your client. Lastly, by participating in moot courts you will get a lot of exposure and you can travel to different states with your team.   

Reference

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