Mooting is the art of legal argumentation, oration, and drafting. Mastering moot court requires diligence and dedication. With the right strategy and preparation, any law student can become a moot court champion. Follow these 12 proven steps to develop a winning moot court strategy:
Step 1: Select the Right Moot Court Competition
Choosing the ideal moot court competition is critical. Consider your interests and strengths. Opt for a moot with a problem involving an area of law you enjoy and excel in. If new to mooting, pick a less prestigious local moot to get experience before attempting national or international moots.
Step 2: Build a Strong Team for the Moot Court
Assemble a moot team with complementary skills. Good researchers who love drafting and have strong legal knowledge make excellent researchers. Confident orators who think quickly on their feet are ideal moot speakers. Choose teammates who are disciplined, dedicated, and team players.
Step 3: Analyze the Moot Court Proposition Thoroughly
Read and re-read the moot problem until you have mastered the facts and committed the timeline to memory. Jot down the factual matrix before identifying legal issues and dividing research. Analyze issues by making sub-issues using elements and defenses. Break the problem down completely before moving to the next steps.
Step 4: Identify Issues Methodically
Spotting issues accurately is critical. The key is finding where disputes arise between parties. List all potential issues and divide them into sub-issues based on elements, defenses, and procedures. Classify sub-issues as essential, defensive, procedural or factual. Making comprehensive sub-issues prevents important arguments from being missed.
Step 5: Research Intelligently Using the IRAC Method for the Moot Court
- I – Issue
- R – Research relevant cases, laws, articles
- A – Analyze and apply the law
- C – Conclude by summarizing your argument
Research only the most relevant parts of materials. Focus on locating cases exactly on point by using filters. Go deep rather than wide. Quality over quantity. Cite a few strong cases rather than many peripheral ones. Synthesize research into tight legal arguments.
Step 6: Craft Persuasive Arguments in the Moot Court Memorandums
Mooting is about persuasive advocacy. Use IRAC to build logical legal arguments. Apply the law precisely to the facts of the case. Support conclusions with binding precedent. Make arguments favoring your client while anticipating and defusing counterarguments. Demonstrate where the opposition is legally and factually wrong.
Step 7: Draft Moot Court Memorial With Excellent Writing Quality
Write clearly, coherently, and concisely. Organize arguments logically with smooth transitions between issues. Use plain English avoiding complex words and convoluted sentences. Edit out redundancies and any unsupported analysis or conclusions. Adhere to all formatting rules and include all required sections per competition guidelines.
Step 8: Proofread the Moot Court Memorial Meticulously
Proofreading is imperative with moot memorials. Check formatting, grammar, citations, and bluebooking thoroughly. Use plagiarism software and have peers review drafts. Refine arguments by addressing flaws peers identify. Verify every citation and quotation. Polish until the memorials are publication-worthy.
Step 9: Practice Arguing Regularly
The researchers should grill the orators using anticipated judges’ questions. Identify weak areas of arguments through practice. Refine responses to diffuse tough questions. Work on style elements like eye contact, posture and voice modulation. Focus replies directly on the legal merits to demonstrate substance over style.
Step 10: Refine Written Submissions
Use insights gained through oral practice to further improve written submissions. Fix identified gaps in arguments by conducting additional targeted research. Strengthen suspect areas by finding new cases and evidence missed originally. Revise arguments to close loopholes opponents could exploit.
Step 11: Conduct Final Moots
Do multiple complete run-through moots weeks prior to the competition. Ensure all arguments flow logically and every point is supported with the strongest possible authority. Confirm orators can handle hard questions and rebuttals effectively. Internal moots build confidence and identify areas needing last-minute tweaking.
Step 12: Stay Confident During the Actual Moot
By following the first 11 steps diligently, you will be fully prepared when it is time to moot for real. Trust your abilities and have faith in the months of hard work. Stay positive. Do not get flustered by intense grilling. Stick to the arguments and cases in your memorials. Keep calm and moot on!
Success at moot court requires immense time and effort. There are no shortcuts. Diligently following these 12 steps from start to finish equips you to moot like a champion. Mooting is challenging but immensely rewarding. Applying these strategies helps you master both written and oral advocacy, so you can triumph at any moot court competition.
CHECK SAMPLE MEMORIALS:
1) Wallace, J. Clifford. “The Moot Court Book: A Student Guide to Appellate Advocacy.” Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2017.)
2) Griffith, J.D. “Championship Moot Court: Preparing for Competition.” Thomson Reuters, 2018.
3) Martineau, Robert J. et al. “Appellate Advocacy: Principles and Practice.” 5th ed., Thomson Reuters, 2012.
4) “A Law Student’s Guide to Mooting.” Law Society of Ireland, 2016,
5) Kayali, Dina. “Handbook on Mooting and Mock Trials.” Middlesex University Dubai, 2015.