From Obligations 1B to OUP: Progressing your mooting career – David Meiklejohn

The Obligations 1B moot can be a daunting prospect and a stressful experience, and many students will be delighted to see the back of it once it is finished. The oral presentation of a legal argument will be a novel concept for almost all first years, and the preparation of your submissions will undoubtedly be a challenging experience.

Despite this, I would encourage all first years to view the compulsory contract moot as the springboard into your mooting career. Whilst there will be some late nights as the moot approaches, the majority of students will end up enjoying the chance to present the result of your hard work (even if you can only appreciate that once your turn to speak is over).

In fact, mooting can easily be the most fun that you have in your degree. The vast majority of legal subjects throughout the entire LLB revolve around essays, exams and group assessments. Whilst preparing for a moot certainly involves time in the library reading books and cases, the opportunity to get dressed up and put your knowledge into legal practice is unique.

The benefits of mooting are also clear. Firstly, mooting will develop key legal skills, such as your advocacy and research ability. Secondly, your CV will be greatly enhanced by your involvement in optional moots, as this gives you legal experience not required by your degree. Thirdly, mooting will benefit your ability to identify the law and apply it to a given set of facts, and this in turn can benefit your grades.

On that basis, whilst many students will long for the end of the Obligations 1B moot, I would encourage all of you to get involved in the many opportunities to moot throughout your time at University. Whilst the case for involving yourself in mooting is strong, many people are often unsure how to go about getting involved with future moots.

There are three important ways to become involved with mooting at Glasgow after your Obligations 1B moot. Firstly, join the Mooting Society (on Facebook at the following link: and even get in touch to let them know you are happy to get involved. Secondly, enter the Deans Cup in second year. Entries for this will usually be in September, and so make so sure you are on the ball early on in first semester to take part. Thirdly, prepare well for your Obligations 1B moot, as these are marked and those gaining high scores will put themselves on the front foot for participating in future moots.

The Oxford University Press (OUP) Moot is one of those opportunities, which I participated in with my partner from the Obligations 1B moot in second year (November 2017). This is a prestigious UK-wide competition, and the problem we were given was based on English criminal law. In taking part, we flew to Belfast to moot against Queens University, and were judged by Sir Anthony Hart (who chaired the Northern Ireland Executive’s inquiry into historical child abuse).

The experience of the Obligations 1B moot was crucial in equipping us with the necessary skills and confidence, and the feedback we received provided a platform to build on for the OUP moot. Personally, the Obligations 1B moot was helpful in reinforcing that mooting is a conversation with the judge, and that it is more than delivering a pre-written speech. The ability to thoroughly identify and investigate a specific area of the law was also important for both moots, and again the Obligations 1B moot stood us in good stead in that area.

Opportunities such as this one are not just manageable and good for the CV, but are beneficial to you as a law student, and more importantly, enjoyable. I wish you all the best in your upcoming moot, and would encourage all first years to view it as the start, not the end, of your mooting career.

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