Moot court is a term you've probably read or heard in your research about law school. From its name, you know that a courtroom is somehow involved, but what is moot court exactly and why do you want this on your resume?
What Is Moot Court?
Moot court is a law school activity and competition during which students participate in the preparation and arguing of cases in front of judges. The case and sides are selected beforehand, and students are given a set amount of time to prepare for the eventual trial.
Moot court involves appellate cases as opposed to those at the trial level, which are often called "mock trials"; Judges are usually law professors, attorneys from the community, and even members of the judiciary.
Depending on the law school, students may join Moot Court in their first, second, or third years of law school. Each school's process for selecting Moot Court members differs, but in some schools, competition is quite fierce to join, especially in those law schools that send winning teams to national competitions.
Moot court members research their respective sides, write appellate briefs, and present oral arguments in front of the judges. Judges are free to ask questions at any time during the presentation, and students must respond accordingly; therefore, a profound understanding of the facts of the case, their arguments, and their opponents' arguments is required.
Why Should I Join Moot Court?
Legal employers, particularly large law firms, love students who have participated in Moot Court. Why?
Because students on Moot Court have spent many hours perfecting the legal analytical, research, and writing skills that practicing attorneys must have. With Moot Court on your resume, an employer knows that you have been learning to form and communicate legal arguments for a year or more; if you've already spent a lot of time in law school on these tasks, that's less time the firm will have to invest in your learning and more time you can spend practicing law.
Even if you're not thinking of a job at a large firm, Moot Court can be quite useful as you'll become increasingly more comfortable formulating arguments and expressing them in front of judges�essential skills for any attorney. If you feel that your public speaking skills need some work, Moot Court is a great place to hone them.
On a more personal level, participating in Moot Court can also provide a unique bonding experience for you and your team and give you a mini-support system during law school.