Usually, students burn the midnight oil while making their written submissions but they tend to avoid this hard work for the Oral Rounds for Moot Court Competitions. Oral submissions form a very important part of any moot court competition. Remember that merely knowing the arguments is not enough. It requires hours and hours of rehearsal to master the final oral submissions. Given below is a step by step guide on how to prepare for the Oral Rounds for Moot Court Competitions.
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1. Prepare a transcript
Start by preparing the transcript. Your transcript should include a brief of your arguments. Do not skip including the points that are absent in your written submissions but are very crucial to your arguments. You can also add short notes alongside each argument such as, page numbers of the compendium or written submissions which are relevant to the argument. Additionally, the details such as relevant case laws and short answers to any predictable questions can be included, as well.
2. Read aloud and time the Transcript
Read aloud the transcript and keep time. Time is in such a manner that you leave a gap of 2-3 minutes for questions and other contingencies. Read it 2-3 times and try to memorize the transcript in such a manner that you do not require to look at your transcript while making your oral submissions.
3. Make a supplementary transcript
A lot of times, things don’t go as you plan them. It is possible that you end up facing an extreme grilling by the judge on a single issue. In such cases, you might be left with no time to complete your submissions. During such contingencies, your supplementary transcript will come to your rescue. This supplementary transcript should be a concise version of your main transcript. In this script, include your best arguments in a succinct manner.
Knowing all the arguments by heart is not enough. You need to practice repetitively to make your arguments sound convincing. Practice your speech along with voice modulation and hand gestures. Record your speech each time you speak, so that you can watch your recording and analyse your speech well. Most importantly, incorporate the accepted court etiquettes in our practice speeches so that you get into the habit of using them. Moot Court competitions are formal events and these minor intricacies go a long way in your success.
5. Coordinate with the researcher
It is the most important step. This step is usually disregarded by most teams. Remember that a researcher should be always active. Readout your speech to the researcher several times. Simultaneously, the researcher must mark relevant points, must identify the relevant authorities for each argument, and should practice producing the right document at the right time before the judges. (Read: Qualities of Good Researcher) This will also help in making a comprehensive compendium for the final event.
6. Watch Videos
With the advent of the internet, learning has become easier. Many platforms have a number of videos of several renowned moot court competitions. Watch them along with your teammates and observe the speeches being made by the speakers. Understand the role of each member of the team, analyse the mistakes made by the speakers in the video, figure out the type of questions which judges mostly ask, observe the court etiquette that is being followed and accordingly plan your own speech. (Read: How to Ace an Online Moot Court Competition?) You can check out the Knowledge Centre hosted by Memo Pundits for similar resources.
7. Mock trials
Mock trials are the most important part of your practice. Try to approach a faculty or seniors with good command over the subject matter of your moot for your oral rounds. Ensure that your seniors/ faculty grill you sufficiently. Try to make the mock trials as real as you can and take them extremely seriously. Take their feedback and suggestions and work on your laggings.
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About the Author: Yashi Agrawal is a 4th Year student at Maharashtra National Law University, Nagpur. She is currently holding the post of the Co-Convenor of the Moot court Committee. Ever since she came to know of it, she has been immensely lured by the world of mooting. She also has great experience in writing blogs for law students.
About the Editor: Shivangi Bajpai is a graduate from National Law University Odisha. As a fresher in law school, she was a part of an online law school magazine called Ergo (lawyergo.com) which was largely a peer-connect platform for students from law fraternity. She has remarkable research skills and was a researcher in Henry Dunant Moot Court Competition, in her second year of law school. She considers herself a solution-oriented individual making her an effective problem solver.