Mooting is an excellent way to show to recruiters your commitment to the profession and the range of skills at your disposal. It is particularly relevant for students applying to the BPTC due to its noticeable similarities with a career at the Bar. Here, we explore the value of mooting and why, as a second-year law student, you should get involved.
Mooting is not essential
Admissions staff for BPTC courses agree that an application would never be rejected purely because an applicant has no mooting or public-speaking experience. However, all were keen to see applicants with a variety of life experiences, along with clear, concise and well-presented applications.
Applying for a BPTC generally requires evidence of potential as an advocate. There seems a no better way to demonstrate this than through competitive mooting since it’s essentially a mock courtroom where students pretend to be advocates. However, other forms of public speaking would certainly fulfil these criteria.
The chambers' view on mooting
Overall, the skills acquired from participating in moots are highly valued by the chambers. Such experience demonstrates evidence of public speaking that most chambers deem essential for any applicant.
Prize-winning mooters, particularly in prestigious national and international competitions, will obviously stand out, but most chambers stated that these candidates usually impress for a variety of reasons and not just their prize-winning mooting skills. They all agreed that when choosing between a candidate with mooting experience and another with public speaking experience, the mooting candidate wouldn’t automatically be favoured.
What about if I want to become a solicitor?
This isn’t to say that mooting is only beneficial to those wishing to apply for their BPTC. Practical Legal Research is an assessed part of the LPC, which most students struggle with. It was noted that students who had extensive mooting experience didn’t have as much difficulty with Practical Legal Research (particularly with the paper research as opposed to the electronic research) when compared with those who had no mooting experience whatsoever.
External mooting is the next step forward if taking part in mooting events at your university is something you really enjoy and value. It’s a great addition to your CV and will develop a host of valuable skills. Further, the experience gained is bound to set you apart from the crowd, helping you to secure a training contract.
It’s important to note, if you wish to represent your university at an external moot, that you’ll need to participate in a few internal moots beforehand. This enables your university to progress its best mooters onto the next stage and ensure the best candidates represent it. However, if your university hasn’t facilitated this process, take it upon yourself to set up an application process for an external moot by contacting the relevant bodies at your university.
There are many moots running throughout the year. Here are some external competitions:
The benefits of mooting
Whether you choose to participate in internal or external mooting, its benefits are far-reaching. Most obviously, mooting will set you apart from other applicants when you’re applying for training contracts or vacation schemes because it demonstrates a high level of skill and commitment. Participating in external moots drastically improves your portfolio due to their exclusivity and reputation. But it’s important to consider that taking part in any competition will require a lot of time. Make sure you are able to take on the extra work before committing to a moot.
With special thanks to the people of KCH Chambers, Birmingham City University, Old Square Chambers, Matrix Chambers and Paradise Chambers for their input.