Preparing to Moot - I Am BCU Research Series

Preparing to Moot Book Cover by Sarah Cooper and Scarlett McArdle

Mooting is a traditional method used by the legal community to develop advocacy and legal argument skills.

Typically, in a moot, students simulate an appeal case. They will be given a fictional set of facts that comprise contentious issues of law. Four students will each have a role arguing these legal issues, taking on the role of a barrister. In order to do this, they must analyse and understand the problem, research the relevant law, and construct an argument. If a student plans and researches properly, then they will be well prepared for the actual experience of the moot itself: arguing their points before a judge in a simulated court environment.

Birmingham City University’s School of Law has a national reputation for success in Mooting, with our teams regularly reaching national level finals. In 2014, this success was noticed by leading publisher Routledge. They asked Dr. Sarah Cooper and Dr. Scarlett McArdle, who lead the Law School’s mooting programme, to write a mooting textbook. Sarah and Scarlett decided to take up the challenge, but, unlike other mooting books, they wanted to focus on preparation, a task they knew students often overlooked when mooting.

They also wanted the design and writing of the book to be guided by students. To do this, they applied for a Student Academic Partnership Grant to fund three law students to generate materials for the book. Two students undertook the key preparation tasks of analysis, research, and argument construction in relation to four moot problem questions, and one student captured their journey.

Sarah and Scarlett used these materials to form the foundations of the book, which advises the reader on how to approach these key tasks; essentially allowing the reader to experience the process of preparation alongside an authentic student voice. The three students were also supported to write the Foreword for the book, which was published in May, 2017 and is recommended reading on law programmes at Birmingham City University.

You can find out the details for the book on Birmingham City University’s Open Access database.

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