Tuesday 7th March saw the final of the City Scholars Moot; open to LLB, GELLB and LLM students. Catherine Elliott, organiser of this popular moot gives us a rundown of the evening’s competition, held in the fantastic surroundings of the Supreme Court.
The final of the competition proved to be a really memorable experience for both the finalists and the students who attended as spectators. With Lady Hale as the judge, this was a unique experience for the students to experience at first hand the intellectual challenge of advocating in front of a leading judge from the top court of the land.
Lady Hale stretched the competitors to their limits with rigourous questioning on the legal issues raised by the moot problem, a contract law problem case involving promissory estoppel. The students performed fantastically well, joining in with the spirit of the occasion, managing to think quickly on their feet and adapting their legal arguments as the moot progressed. Ultimately it was MacKenzie Common who managed to walk away with the prize of £100 but all of the students were praised by Lady Hale for their mooting skills. Well done!
Those students facing Lady Hale were Merrow Golden, Althea Brooks, MacKenzie Common and Eden Ifergan, all from our GELLB course… what were their impressions?
When I first heard about mooting at City I thought it sounded like a terrible way to spend what little free time I had that wasn’t focused on law school! I signed up to the City Scholars competition on a whim so at least I could confirm my prejudices about mooting.
However, the experience I had was one of the most enriching aspects of my first year here at City. Mooting forced me to take what I learned in class and really think about it, diving into a topic and understanding what scholars and judges really made of it. The knowledge I had on certain topics also helped me on midterms, where I was able to cite additional cases and academic articles to kick my arguments up a notch.
It can be really stressful and anxiety inducing, especially the day of the moot, when you find yourself thinking “Why am I doing this to myself? How is this fun?” But the adrenaline kick you feel when you stand up and deliver your speech is exhilarating and walking out of the room, knowing you won, makes you feel like you can do anything. I imagine winning an actual case feels even better, and that knowledge can make you even more excited to be in law school.
Going to the Supreme Court was a crazy experience. I felt like at any moment, somebody was going to realise I didn’t belong there and ask me to leave. I was just a first year law student and really had no business arguing in front of Lady Justice Hale! I was nervous before I got up to argue but by that point you’ve researched and practiced so much that you sort of forget to be stressed and just take the chance to show what you know. It was an amazing day.
To anyone who wants to get into Mooting, I know that it seems like it can be a lot of work and stressful, but it forces you to really think on your feet, and learn about things you didn’t think you cared about, and more than anything makes you excited for all the cases in your future. It’s worth a try and you never know, signing up for your first moot may just end five months later with you winning the whole thing! But even it doesn’t, the stuff you’ve learned along the way and the things you discover you’re capable of doing makes it all worthwhile.
Mooting at the Supreme Court in front of Lady Hale was one of the hardest, most terrifying, and best experiences of my life. It felt as if we were being judged with the rigour one might expect in a real Supreme Court case, which was an honour as first year law students. The experience has most definitely inspired me to continue mooting and to encourage others to do the same. I am extremely grateful to have had the chance to take part in the City Scholars Mooting Competition, as it provided a chance to begin mooting in a welcoming and supporting atmosphere, with insightful feedback given at each stage. I really do recommend taking part in next years competition to anyone who is considering mooting, and to anyone who isn’t!
When I first joined the mooting competition I did not know exactly what I had signed up for. However it turned out to be one of the most exciting and significant aspects of my year here at city. I enjoyed every step of the way and found the experience helpful in many respects. Aside from the obvious advocacy skills, Mooting helped me prepare better for my exams and taught me the best ways to read a case. I am extremely thankful to Catherine Elliott for being with us every step of the way and felt honoured to be able to appear before Lady Justice Hale at the Supreme Court. This will certainly be an experience I will always cherish.