For every law-student, moot court experience is a must. It becomes all the more essential when the end goal of the student is to go into litigation.
Even if it is not, moot courts can impart the practical knowledge that theoretical education cannot.
However, working on moot court tryouts is no mean feat. More so, when you are already bombarded with classes, assignments, and internships.
Here is a list of six tips that will help you be successful in moot court.
6 Useful Tips To Make Compelling Arguments In Moot Court
Read, Read, And Read
To put it simply, the foundation of winning moot court competitions is your hard work. It requires a mindset of commitment. Your success in moot courts depends a lot on how you prepare for your case arguments.
You can win it only when you read and research your problem well. You need to understand the facts and the principles that are applicable in the case.
If possible, try to get access to the best legal research software to make a document with the relevant principles and subsections.
You cannot win a jury only by play of words or law. The jury will respect and appreciate your efforts when you show how strong your research is. Moreover, the judge may ask you questions about the facts that you should be able to answer.
As you prepare for your moot court, you must also consider the arguments that your opposing side may make.
To do this, evaluate your case critically and examine your side’s weak points. With this strategy, you and your team will be better armed to handle your opponent’s arguments.
Know The Rules
All courts have rules for arguments and conduct inside the courtroom. Moot courts are no different. You will need to follow all the rules without fail, or it may draw a penalty.
It will help to read the rules at least twice and discuss them with your teammates. Most rules will relate to the time allocation given to each participant. Moreover, it will also contain information about the scoring system.
Your goal, when appearing for a moot court, should be to accumulate as many points as possible to win. If you make mistakes, break the rules, or get penalties, you won’t win despite making a winning argument.
Apart from this, identify your best advocates. Give them more time if the rules allow you a free hand to divide the time between your speakers.
Thus, you can collect more points and have a better chance of winning the competition.
Prepare A Theme For Your Argument
Before your team sets out to work on the case, choose a central message so that the team can stick to one common message. It will bring you all on one common page and also let you answer the judge with appropriate responses.
The theme should specify how the law will be wronged if the judge doesn’t pass an order in your favor.
The theme will depend upon the side you are choosing and the kind of relief your side is seeking. One look at the westlaw review will let you know the importance of preparing a theme.
Most lawyers make the mistake of confusing a theme with the theory. A good theme is the one that can be expressed in a few words. For instance, negligence is a concept, while “paying for someone else’s mistakes” is a theme.
To make it easy, try to work the summary of your case. As it is the basis for your arguments, it will help the jurors to remember them when it comes to making a decision.
Moreover, it will enable them to look at the evidence in a way that fits relevantly into the case.
Create A Solid Brief
All moot courts will expect your team to submit a brief for your case.
You will have to explain every issue along with facts and cite legal authority for it. Furthermore, you should also mention the favorable and unfavorable facts.
When you write the brief, make it a point to explain your inference of the facts. The judge may not arrive at the same conclusion as yours from the facts.
Moreover, it is not necessary to give too much attention to well-known principles. Your focus should be on the arguments that will help you win the case.
In this process, also focus on the weak aspects. It will help you give the appropriate response to unexpected questions in the court.
At times, it is wise to concede rather than defend a point when you know it won’t get you anything.
Prepare Your Oral Arguments
When it comes to preparing for your delivery, you need not learn the argument. It is also not advisable to read from a written document. It should seem more like a dialogue between you and the judge.
You may prepare notes and keep it handy during the final moot hearing. However, maintaining eye contact with the judges is the key to making an impact. Some juries do not favor it when advocates look at notes.
What you need is to understand the ins and outs of the case. It is where thoroughly reading your case and preparing the brief will come handy. It will enable you to answer unexpected questions in the courtroom.
Also, it will allow you to be more persuasive and positively engage the judges.
Practice The Delivery
Finally, practice and practice as much as you can.
When you do it with your team, you will realize if you are going wrong somewhere or if your arguments are not persuasive enough. Moreover, it will make you confident about your case.
Make it a point to practice before your coaches, faculty members, alumni, lawyers, etc. to get the right feedback. Don’t get nervous if you face hard questions during trial sessions – it will only prepare you for the D day.
Another point that will also help you is to ask them to write their questions so you can strengthen your case.
Being successful in moot court ultimately boils down to the prep work you do. Make sure you have the proper knowledge and access to the right tools to improve the substance of your argument.
With these six effective tips, you can ensure that you make a winning case for your moot court.