Life in a law school offers a lot of opportunities. These opportunities help us learn and grow as a lawyer. Every law school hosts a lot of activities. Be it debates, MUNs or moot court competitions. As time passes by, we realize what our true calling is. Some prefer litigation whereas others prefer the corporate sector. Life in a law school gets pretty busy when we are doing all the right things. Utilisation of time in a productive way is very important. We all know how debates work or how MUNs help us gain confidence and become more aware of the current affairs. But, when we enter a law school, the term “moot court” is new to all of us and this term needs to be fully understood.
Moot court is an extracurricular activity in every law school. There are a lot of national and international moot court competitions where the students get to learn a lot. Moot courts form a very important part of a law student’s life. A moot court is where one sees the practical application of what we study within the four walls of a classroom. Participation in a moot court as a clerk or as an advocate/ lawyer should definitely be on your checklist. As a law student, it is imperative that your Curriculum Vitae has experiences or duties that reflect the all- rounder in you. One has to be pretty active to keep up with the curriculum and maintain a good record of extracurricular activities as well.
In this article, we shall talk about the various reasons why we should consider clerkship for moot courts. Obviously, your first thought would be that clerkship is not that important and it is much more rewarding for you to actually be an active participant in the moot court as a lawyer. Well, being a clerk is totally different from being a lawyer. You may think that clerkship is not as important, but the truth is that the smart guy would know how to get benefits from any position that guy may have. Not everyone can be a lawyer in a moot court. Not everybody has that required set of skills. But, does that mean that those people who have a sharp mind but, have problem voicing their opinion should be left out? Mooting is much more than two teams arguing in front of the judges. All the work that goes into making the moot court competition happen is done by the clerks. All the paperwork is handled by the clerks.
You need to dip your toes in, first. You cannot directly dive into a new world. Clerkship in a moot court is like dipping your toes in the swimming pool instead of diving in the deep end. You need to be prepared.
So, to cut the long story short, here is a list of 5 reasons why you should at least consider clerkship for a moot court–
1) Learning Process- The moot court is a new world. There is so much to learn. The behaviour of the lawyers, the manner in which one is supposed to interact with the learned judge, how the case is to be presented and so on. Right from the time the hearing starts, the process of learning commences. As a newbie, the option for clerkship in a moot court should be wide open. It is a great way of observing an activity that is totally alien to you.
2) Practical Knowledge- Sure, you are really regular with your classes and you ace every theory test. But, do you know what the practical application of the laws is like? What the process is like? How cases are argued, presented? You cannot truly know the answer to these questions if you do not associate yourself to the moot court in any way! You have to be a part of something to understand it completely. Observation is key.
3) Gather Contacts- Even if you are a clerk, you do get to interact with the judges and the team of lawyers. Make contacts. Networking is important. In life, you need to make the best of what you have. The position of a clerk can be so useful when you know how to use it right. Make smart choices and treat all positions of responsibility with equal zest!
4) Be a Part of the Process- So what if you missed the opportunity of being a lawyer for the case? You could always be a part of the process by being a clerk. Make use of that chance! You could learn so much by observing and keeping alert. Pay attention to what happens in a moot court and commit the entire process to memory. Of course this can be a tremendously hard job which demands considerable experience. If you are looking to minimize some effort and ace the mooting game, check this course out here. This way, when it is you behind that podium, you would know what not to do.
5) Behind the Scene Action- For the common people, the court (moot or the actual courts) are all about glitz and glamour. But, only the ‘inside’ people know how the magic happens! Clerkship is no joke. It involves a lot of work. You get to see how the entire process works and you get to make a contribution in its completion as well.
As a person of the world, you need to keep all your options open. Especially when you are trying to find your calling and have not completely made up your mind. Try not messing up. Sure, you have a little time to make up for lost opportunities but you should know that no two opportunities are the same. You need to keep on expanding your horizons and keep looking for new experiences.
The above article is written by Sukhmani Singh