In court during your degree

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Above the roofs of Vienna: Nick (on the left) with the FAU-Team at Vis Moot (Foto: Alexander Y. Christov)

Übersetzen Law students take part in fictitious court proceedings

In moot courts, FAU law students compete with law students from all over the world in fictitious court proceedings. They can also network with other students in the FAU Moot Network.

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. Even while you’re still at university!

Studierende hält ein Plädoyer
After the writing process, the lawyers make their case (Image: Alexander Y. Christov)

‘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 studying law and preparing for his State Examination. The FAU Moot Network, which comprises around 50 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 that law is a very dry subject, and that law students spend all their time reading. Moots enable law students to come out of their shell.’

A moot court consists of two parts. It begins with a phase of 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 arguments raised by their competitors. ‘That’s even if we don’t have much of a clue, which does happen sometimes,’ says Nick.

Student im Anzug
Nick shares his moot experiences with fellow students in the FAU Moot Network. (Image: Alexander Y. Christov)

International competition

Nick has 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 get 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 dealt with at all. Some participants discover a passion they weren’t aware of and decide to make that their career,’ explains Nick.

In order to raise awareness for the moots among students, the FAU Moot Network has organized annual moot days since 2018. Anyone who is interested can 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 website to find out when the next meet-up will take place.

Website des FAU Moot Networks