Excelling in a moot court competition is not an individual task but rather a joint effort of the team. No matter how smart one is, strong teamwork is the ultimate game-changer. Since your moot team decides the outcome of the competition, students often feel pressured while choosing the ‘right’ teammates. Therefore, we bring to you this non-exhaustive but rather a quite descriptive guide on how to choose a moot team.
1. Can friendship be a criterion?
It is tempting to use a moot to bond better with your friends. However, not all of your friends may have the skillset to participate in moot competitions. For Example, many mooters have faced bitter experiences where they teamed with friends and were not able to work with them as they were too easy on each other. It is essential to keep professional and personal relationships apart.
2. All team members must have a good working relationship
Make sure you have meetings to help those with your work. Do team-building exercises. Having daily discussions is an exercise that just can’t be ignored during your moot preparation. Therefore you should try to sit together and discuss the flow of your memorial, arguments, etc every day. Each person should be able to contribute, so as to make sure you choose experienced people who can actually help you and don’t have other commitments or other moots to work on. (see: How To Work With A Moot Team?)
3. Form a team with higher-level expertise
Your teammates do not have to be seniors necessarily. Instead, they can be your own batchmates who have more experience. More than research, you can get insider tips and tricks from them as to how to impress the judges. So choose those who are experienced and also those who are willing to put their best foot forward for the moot. (See: Qualities Of A Good Researcher | A Complete Guide!)
4. Subject matter expertise
Even if you are lacking knowledge about a particular subject matter, don’t worry! Even if you do not know International Law, you can still ace any international law moot if you team up with someone who has some sort of expertise in that area. For example, in my college, a 1st-year student joined a Vis Vienna Moot Team, but her team comprised many seniors who had the expertise and the team went on to win good citations in the world rounds. If others can do it, you can do it too. One way you can look for subject area expertise is to see who is the best in a particular subject academically – look at the marks they are getting to judge if they have expertise. Practical applicability is also important- can they solve application-based problems where practical situations are given? (See: Importance Of A Mentor In A Moot Court Competition)
5. Divide work as per skillset
Make sure even the researcher contributes to all the work. For instance, if the researcher is better at formatting and the criminal law aspect of the proposition, leave that to the researcher. This is to ensure that you can cover all bases and put your skills to their best use. Slowly, you can start rotating your usual allocation to avoid it being monotonous for the next moot competitions.
6. Choose the team based on the moot proposition
A moot proposition or the subject area of the moot is released even before you register for a moot. You should frame your team keeping such details in mind. For example, if it is a problem related to matrimonial issues, pick someone who would be well-versed with family law. If it is a tougher problem relating to, say, taxation law, which you haven’t studied yet, call up a senior who can join your team and guide you through the facts and issues in the proposition.
Note: Never hesitate in reaching out to people, the worst that could happen is they’ll say ‘No’. Imagine if 1 out of 5 says ‘Yes’!
7. Choose people who are ready to make the best even out of the worst
Not every time you’ll have favourable conditions. Nonetheless, you make sure that you have teammates who are not too pessimistic. Many times, we don’t know who is the best person for the job, so a good way is to seek guidance from good college seniors – they might already know of a team that is looking for a member; you can also consult the moot society. Speak up and ask for help whenever needed.
8. Choose people who complement each other
A moot team has to be balanced. Each member should possess different qualities, one that the other members lack. For example, if one member is smart yet short-tempered, another member should be calm enough to handle such situations when the other loses his cool.
Members who complement each other bring out the synergy in work. This helps you to increase the collective output of your team. (Therefore, a good moot team will make sure that 1+1 is 11 and not just 2)
Picking the right members is not rocket science. If you follow this guide, chances are that you choose a good workable team. Victory might not be a sure shot, but at least you’ll have a good experience with the most suitable team!
Now you are ready to register for moot competitions with a dedicated team besides you and Memo Pundits guiding you with our courses on memorial making etc.
All the very best 🙂
About the Author: Anjali Baskar is from School of Law, Christ University. Her interests in law include public policy, ADR/ODR, criminal law, IPR/Entertainment law, etc.