Portsmouth Law School
Mooting and Negotiation
A moot is a mock appeal in which teams of two students argue points of law before a judge or judges. It is an excellent means of developing a student's research and argumentation skills, and gives an opportunity to develop one's confidence in public speaking. Law firms and barristers' chambers are particularly keen on individuals who have demonstrated an aptitude for this activity.
The Portsmouth Law School has two internal mooting competitions. One is for first year students, the other for second year students. Both are based upon moot arguments students have to write as part of their assessment in two of their taught units. The first year students' moot problem is based on Criminal Law, the second year students' moot problem is based on the Law of Tort. Guildhall Barristers' Chambers in Portsmouth sponsor this competition, providing the judges in the finals and a trophy. Finalists are offered a two week mini-pupillage with those chambers.
The Portsmouth Law School also encourages its students to take part in external mooting competitions, and students from Portsmouth have taken part in the ESU-Essex Court Moot, the International Law Moot, the Inner Temple Moot and the ICLR Moot. The University also hosted the inaugural South Coast Mooting Competition (sponsored by LexisNexis Butterworths) in March 2007.
An example of a moot involving Portsmouth Law School students is shown in this video (wmv file).
Negotiation is a key skill which lawyers, business professionals and many other people need in their everyday life. A lawyer will often need to negotiate with another side in relation to settling legal actions or agreeing the terms of a contract. Students are encouraged to take part in national negotiating competitions and are actively supported by staff.