As the title of this post, which should be read in a Canadian accent, suggests, it is moot week at UBC Law for 1Ls! This is the week where we get to wear robes, be called ‘Counsel’, and generally act like we are already lawyers.
I have now finished my moot and thought I would share some of my observations about the whole process, from the day the factum was assigned all the way to the judgement delivered after 2.5 hours of arguments.
1. I had fun! Like most of my fellow 1Ls, this was my first moot, and I was nervous about the whole thing. However, I found myself really enjoying the mooting and especially the questions from the bench. Interacting with the judges made me feel like I was actually arguing a case, rather than giving a prepared presentation.
2. It was a great learning experience. I learned how to write a factum, right after learning how to spell ‘factum’ (there are at least two awkward autocorrects you may encounter). I learned how to apply and distinguish cases and how to frame their application to facts in a persuasive way. Incidentally, I also learned that you are not supposed to nod along when anyone speaks in court. It’s considered to be verifying what they are saying and also too conversational. Being a habitual nodder in lectures/conversations, I’ll definitely have to work on keeping a stiff neck in court.
3. Anticipating questions is a very good skill to have. It’s great to have a solid and thorough submission, but there are always questions, and the more of them you have thought about, the more readily you will be able to answer them. Incorporating your cases sufficiently into your answers also makes your response that much more persuasive.
4. It is so much fun to be able to say ‘My Lord’ and ‘My Lady’ in real life. How often do you get to do that? ‘Not often’ is the answer if you’re a reasonable person. (We’ve pegged down what ‘reasonable person’ means already, right?)
5. The moots exemplify the giving nature of this profession. Dozens of lawyers and other members of this field took time out from their busy lives to read our factums, read the cases, come out to UBC, and listen to us moot our way through the whole evening. I’m genuinely appreciative of everyone who gives their time so we can have this fun learning experience.
6. Wearing robes is an acquired skill. They are somehow attracted to getting stuck on furniture. Multiple times.