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Buy it now. Add to basket. I suppose the first hurdle is to be aware that I do it. But being aware of it and not doing it are very different things. So, how to prevent it? Practice, I guess.

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Just as well I have mock interview organised for next Thursday then Mooting is, in essence, a 'pretend' and simplified trial. It has a structure similar to a court, with claimants and defendants, plus a judge. A central point of law is put up for debate by both sides. It can literally be anything: the meaning of a word in a contract and its construction, the correct interpretation of a certain law — anything.

Each side then has to put forward an argument favouring them. This is where the phrase 'a moot point' comes from — a point which is debatable and has an uncertain answer.

A judge then picks the winner s based on the strength of the arguments presented and the way in which they were presented, along with some other factors. Normally each side of the moot has a senior and a junior so you're looking at four 'mooters' plus a judge. However, for all that it's open to anyone, some legal knowledge is going to be needed since the problems set are legalistic.

It will also be necessary for any contestant to have some sort of understanding about how to find their way around legal texts and precedents, since they will form the basis of any argument. Understanding legal terminology — what to refer to which judge as and so on — is also advantageous. The answer to the first question is obvious: as often as possible.

Mooting is a great thing to be able to have done, it is near mandatory at some chambers and it will improve your court room skills for later in your career. The answer to the second question depends on where you are and what level of study you are at.

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Personally, I started doing it as soon as I got onto my GDL, but there were other opportunities too, as various chambers and other such establishments run their own moots. Moots can even go international — a friend of mine recently went out to the International Space Law Moot in eastern Europe!

Almost anywhere. I can't produce a definitive list but some good starting points are:. I traipsed back to my old uni for this. Not only did it feel odd to be back there it's like going back to school, only weirder but I was there for an unpleasant experience: an interview. I have never enjoyed these — the idea of 'selling myself' does not, I think and hope, come naturally to any Englishman whose natural inclination is towards self-deprecation. Anyway, as I made my way to the interview room I had the great pleasure of bumping into one of my former lecturers.

We discussed why I was there and the pupillage process. He was kind enough to tell me he thought I deserved and was good enough for pupillage.

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I don't put this nugget of information into this piece to boast okay I may agree with my former teacher, I may not — the point is how to convince those across the table from you, who haven't had the dubious pleasure of trying to teach you for a year and only have ten minutes to form an impression of you, that you are good enough, They've 'seen' you on paper and reckon that, on you are possibly good enough — how can you use this short period of time to confirm their suspicions? What surprised me most was how nervous I was prior to the interview. Last summer I was generally all right — I suspect that my nerves this time were because my interviewers and I had discussed my faults at our meeting last week and so I was expected to be torn apart!

I mentioned in my first piece a few hints to contain these nerves. Did I utilise any of them in my mock interview? No, they all went out the window. It's not a problem, there are still six or seven months to practice them However, I felt I dealt with all the questions okay. I wasn't expecting to receive glowing feedback and indignation that I hadn't been offered a pupillage yet, but I was expecting to be told that it had been all right. It turns out that I use, subconsciously, a negative vocabulary.

My interviewer made a good point concerning this: even if those taking the pupillage interview do not register my use of such terminology, it will subconsciously nudge them towards thinking I would be a bad choice. Doing this, she suggested, I would be able retrain my vocabulary about myself so that it was more positive.

It would also, she suggested, increase my belief in my ability.

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Let's hope just practising not using such language is as effective! Her other particularly useful piece of advice was that there are three things you, as an interviewee, must establish in the interview in order to really make the most of it:. The trouble is saying 'helping others' sounds a bit wishy-washy. I need to find a way of bringing this legitimate reason out without sounding like a raving lefty.

I am further inhibited by my interview personae in this section. In interviews I try and make sure I consider everything, I talk slowly and choose my words carefully. This does not lend itself well to enthusiasm. It certainly doesn't help that this natural reticence is exacerbated by nerves and that this is generally the first question that an interviewer will ask and is, therefore, asked when anyone is at their most nervous.


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I can't offer immediate solutions to these problems — but an awareness of them brought about by such practice has to be the first step to solving them. I suppose just practising to get rid of them is a start. Are there any ways of ensuring that you do well under this heading?

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Well, being sure of yourself is a good start. Be certain of your reasons for wanting to practice in whatever field. Is a sob story a good reason for wanting to come to the Bar? The general feeling seems to be no. It may be a springboard for wanting to come, and it may provide background information, but it shouldn't be the whole reason on its own.

A good tip I was given to ensure that you are clear on your reasons was: write down every one you have, then try to expand on them. If you have a selection of four or five then you can use the one you think is most effective for a certain set. What else can be done? I suppose the other thing is to go for it. You know why you want to be there — just tell them. If you've thought through your reasons they will be solid, and if they're solid they should be convincing. All you need to do now is convey them in the right way. Draw on your experiences. The questions will be designed to allow you do this.

So if they ask for your experience dealing with clients and you've done various bits of pro bono — go nuts telling them about it.

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Say what it involved, why you did it and, probably most importantly of all, what you got out of it — basically how it prepared you for pupillage and, indeed, tenancy. Laura undertook a mixed pupillage in family and civil law and is interested in developing her practice in these areas. Laura has been instructed in a wide variety of hearings ranging from FHDRAs to final hearings and is regularly instructed in Family Law Act injunctive relief applications.

Laura has appeared in all levels of Court, up to and including the High Court. Laura has also assisted with drafting documents for appeals in relation to care orders and costs in family cases, including skeleton arguments and advices. Other interests.