Mooting and Debating

 

What is mooting?

Mooting is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. 

It comprises two pairs of student advocates, who take on the role of barristers. They each argue a fictitious legal appeal case in front of a judge – normally a lecturer or practising lawyer. It is perhaps the closest experience to appearing in court that a student can have whilst at university.

Mooting is not the same as public speaking or debating, although it shares some commonalities with these activities. It is a specialised application of the art of persuasive advocacy. It has been part of the process of training lawyers for centuries and plays an important role in legal education.

Mooting is something we take very seriously at Aston, with all our undergraduate law students being encouraged to take part in internal and external mooting competitions.

Why Moot?

There are many reasons to moot. 

Mooting helps to build confidence in public speaking, general research, and presentation skills, which are useful skills that can be transferred to most careers.

However, it also presents an opportunity to develop legal practice skills and take part in networking opportunities with legal professionals.

Mooting enables students to:

  • engage with and think deeply about interesting and topical legal issues
  • enhance their advocacy, legal research and writing skills
  • work closely with and learn from their peers
  • demonstrate their interest in advocacy and competence to prospective employers. 

Most students find mooting to be intellectually rewarding and highly enjoyable. It can be a potentially nerve-racking experience, but ultimately is a lot of fun.

The legal profession is an increasingly difficult one to enter, and some application forms even demand that a candidate can provide evidence of their advocacy or mooting experience. 

A Student's Perspective

We asked a few members of Aston’s Law Society to explain what mooting is truly about, and how to get involved. Here's what they had to say. Jake Lewis is a current second year LLB Law undergraduate here at Aston University, alongside Amy Greenhill, also a second year Law student and one of the main points of contact for any student mooting queries. Together, they help facilitate the running of internal and external competitions by sending emails to participants, drawing the rounds and occasionally judging the moots.

Amy Greenhill

Amy Greenhill 

Mooting has definitely developed my confidence in public speaking and advocacy and prepared me for a legal career. As well as the advocacy skills there is the task of researching and preparing a legal argument, both of which are admirable skills for either a solicitor or barrister. Mooting is one of the best extra-curricular activities available at Aston Law School.

Jake Lewis

Mooting is an activity in which participants argue over legal issues raised by a moot problem, which is a fictional case that has been written to be arguable either way. Moots are won by displaying better advocacy skills than the other side.

Jake Lewis

 

A Graduate's Perspective

Ruth Reid

Ruth Reid, Barrister, Three Temple Gardens
LLB Law with management graduate

Mooting and persuasive argument is a fundamental part of being a barrister. Mooting at Aston Law gave me a helpful introduction into researching, formulating, and executing legal arguments on any given topic. It definitely prepared me for practice!

Laura Stockin, Senior Legal Officer, Coventry City Council
LLB Law with management graduate

Taking part in mooting competitions at Aston University increased my confidence, allowed me to meet new people and was a truly rewarding experience. Mooting taught me how to critically analyse the arguments made by my opponents, present persuasive and compelling submissions, and to express myself clearly. These are all fundamental elements of being a lawyer. Mooting at Aston is well-organised and the training gives students many opportunities to develop their skills.

 

 

Laura Stockin