In court during your degree

FAU Moot Network
Above the rooftops of Vienna: Nick (far left) with the FAU team at the Vis Moot. (Image: Alexander Y. Christov)

You don’t need to be a star lawyer to prepare a case in international law, represent the interests of an entire state and address the court in front of more than 1000 people – you can do it all in a moot court. And all this while you are still studying! ‘Most law students know roughly what moot courts are, but they associate them with the US and aren’t aware that we also hold them here,’ explains Nick who is currently in his 10th semester of studying law and is preparing for his State Examination.

Portrait Nick

Nick is currently preparing for his State Examination and shares his experiences with fellow students in the FAU Moot Network. (Image: Alexander Y. Christov)

The FAU Moot Network, which comprises around 30 participants known as ‘mooties’, hopes to increase their popularity. ‘Moot courts are a great opportunity to gain practical experience,’ says Nick. ‘There’s a cliché surrounding lawyers that they just spend their time reading boring books. Moots enable law students to come out of themselves.’ A moot court consists of two parts. It begins with a phase of written submissions during which participants have to prepare the case in writing.

‘This is like a written assignment for university. We have to work on a specific topic and there’s a deadline. If we don’t manage our time properly, there’s a chance we will have to work all night before the deadline to get everything finished,’ explains Nick. The oral assignment that follows, where participants have to take on the role of lawyers, is particularly challenging. The law students have to plead before the court, which means they cannot simply prepare a speech, but must answer the arguments of their competitors. ‘Even if we don’t have much of a clue, which does happen sometimes,’ says Nick.

International competition

Nick has already taken part in the international Vis Moot in Vienna and for the pre-moots he travelled to Warsaw, Helsinki, Tbilisi and Belgrade. Moot courts are particularly useful for getting to know new people and discovering new places. They can also be useful when selecting a career later on. ‘Moot courts often deal with areas of law that are only touched upon during your degree or not at all. Some participants discover a passion for something in a moot that they weren’t previously familiar with and decide to choose a career in that area later on,’ explains Nick. The FAU Moot Network organised the first Moot Day last year to raise awareness of moot courts among law students.

Women at a podium.

At the Moot Day, law students can find out more about various moot courts. (Image: Alexander Y. Christov)

The event enabled law students to find out more about moot courts from participants and get information about what’s on offer at FAU. As the name suggests, the focus is on networking. Students can get to know fellow ‘mooties’ and the coaches who support the teams at regular meet-ups. This also enables them to find out about moots they haven’t yet taken part in. Would you also like to take part in a moot court and find out more? Take a look at the FAU Moot Network’s Facebook page to find out when the next meet-up will be taking place.

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