Friday, October 11, 2019

The Three Levels Of Mooting

How to be a master of mooting?

Three steps, that's all it takes.

Easier said than done, of course. Knowing the steps is as simple as A-B-C. Actually getting through them, that's the tough part. For I can only show you the door - it's all up to you to walk through it.

I know, sounds like some cryptic mumbo-jumbo fortune-cookie wisdom stuff. But trust me, it works for the best mooters, and it'll work for you too.

So the quicker you stop rolling your eyes and start climbing, the sooner you'll reach to the top...

Congrats, you've just passed Level 1...

* * *

Level One: Discovery (Find yourself)

Mooting is like music.

What's your voice range? Do you have a deep baritone? Are you more of a tenor or soprano?

Sure, having a loud, rich voice is good for projection. Some of us speak in rapid fire, some speak with patient deliberation. Some have a British accent, some lean towards an American twang.

But ultimately, there's no one best way of speaking. So long as you've mastered the basic skills of intonation and pacing, the judges are all ears.

Every mooter needs to find their own voice, their own rhythm, their own style.

And that can only be done through constant experimentation, trial and error, and refinement.

Same goes with your language, body movements and facial expressions. There's a bunch of instruments in your toolbox. The art of effective communication is multi-dimensional.

(Failure rate: 25%)

* * *

Level Two: Development (Push yourself)

Congratulations! You've found your voice. A quarter of aspiring mooters don't even get this far.

But you shouldn't take your 'good voice' for granted. You may already sound good, but there's always room to sound better.

By now, you know your limits, your weaknesses, your flaws.

Should you just accept them? If you're happy settling with mediocrity - sure, suit yourself. But if you wish to upgrade into a better version of yourself - then you have to press on hard to overcome them.

English is your second language? Then read more English materials and converse with your friends in English on a daily basis.

Trouble breaking down legal concepts into simple terms? Then submit to laypeople like your Mom till they understand you.

Stressed out easily? Then meditate or something.

The list of problems that mooters face are endless, and so are the solutions. The struggle isn't identifying the solution, but mustering the will to carry it out.

You have to keep practising and improvising to hit the perfect pitch.

(Failure rate: 50%)

* * *

Level Three: Determination (Trust yourself)

Excellent work! You've almost reached the peak of your potential. Only a quarter of the mooting population are on par with you.

But there's only so much room at the top. Only a very lucky few can step up to the podium. More likely than not, even giving your all isn't good enough to sway the judges to crown you champion.

Should you just turn around and walk away? It's quite understandable why most mooters would.

It's hard not to give up and think "Know what, I ain't bursting my ass for another 6 months only to get screwed by some random panel who didn't even read the moot problem!".

It's hard not to move on to more productive activities in law school.

It's hard not to lose faith in your abilities.

But just like any other sport or competition, that's how mooting works. You'll lose more than you win. You'll be heartbroken more than overjoyed.

The truly great mooters are patient and calm. They know that their time will come, one day. And they will keep fighting and fighting till they finally prevail.

(Failure rate: 20%)

Failure is your friend, kids!

* * *

Only 5% of mooters go all the way and rise to the top.

The rest falter at different stages of their mooting journey. That's not to say that they are 'losers' or 'failures', of course. Different people have different priorities in life.

But if you truly wish to experience the best parts of mooting, then you have to stay the course till the very end. Winning and losing are both part of the process. You learn as much from failure as from success - if not even more.

Most mooters give up mooting because "mooting is not my cup of tea". Whilst that may hold true for some, such reason rings rather hollow for those who give up at the early stages without much exploration and effort.

Ultimately, cliche as it sounds, the true value of mooting lies not in the destination, but the journey itself. More often than not, it is the most driven mooters, and not the most skilled ones, who reach the top.

Yes, mooting is a long and hard journey - but that's exactly what makes it so fun and fulfilling.

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