Pumpkin-up for Mooting!
Updated: May 2, 2020
By Ong Eng Hong and Tan Ejin
On 9 November, 6 teams represented Taylor’s Law School in a moot competition organised by Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff, a distinguished law firm based in Kuala Lumpur. Read on to find out more on their thoughts of the competition!
“The entire preparation week was utterly intense but we were glad that we managed to pull through it. On top of that, we are very grateful to have Amitaesh to guide us, especially when we did not know how to prepare for the introduction of our submission on the day before the competition. On that day itself, he told us: “Never waste three years in law school achieving nothing.” Frankly speaking, he did a great job in motivating us and we would always appreciate learning more things from a great senior like him.
During the competition, we gave our best and the feedback from the judges was one of the best ‘souvenirs’ we got from the competition. The remarks were good and the judges were generally impressed with our performance as ‘infant mooters’. There were also comments addressing the technicalities to mooting, to improve on our submissions and question-answering skills.
To sum up, it was a very valuable experience for every single member in our team and we are more than ready for the next mooting competition to step our game up!” - Kelvin Tan Yong Hao, Tan Zhun Yeng, Tristan Yeo Shen Han and Mirabelle Ong Sin Yee
“Frankly speaking, we found this competition utterly challenging due to the short amount of time we were given. Besides, we were unsure of the authorities we needed to research on as we were unfamiliar with the topic related to the mooting questions.
During our training sessions, we struggled to adapt to the formal court settings in which only formal languages are permitted. This series of events made us doubtful of ourselves because we were unsure whether we were able to pull this off. Fortunately, the immense amount of support we received from Taylor’s Mooting Society resuscitated our will to persevere.
Our efforts paid off in the end. We learned many things from the mooting competition as the judges pointed out our respective weaknesses. It was a really good experience for us to have a glimpse of how court proceedings are in real life. Having said that, we look forward to joining more mooting competitions in the future to enhance our mooting skills.
In our opinion, participating in mooting competitions despite the overwhelming workload in law school is a rewarding investment as we were able to gain practical knowledge which is unavailable in law textbooks.” - Pravin Rakawan, Stephanie Wong Hui Yi, Leong Wen Yi, Lim Swee Ling Kirtana
“For us, it was an exciting, challenging and frustrating experience. As first semester students, we were unfamiliar with the area of law the moot problem was about and on top of that, there was a Federal Court decision working against us. Luckily, having good chemistry between the teammates allowed us to work together efficiently in the two weeks leading up to the competition and to think of ways to circumvent judgements not favourable to us.
Throughout the process of preparation, we've gotten better at legal research and time management, especially having to juggle it with finals approaching in a month's time.
However, no amount of preparation could have prepared us for the most daunting part of a moot competition, which was to think on our feet and answer the questions that were being thrown at us left and right. To say that it was not intimidating would be a big fat lie, because with the amount of pressure on us, even the most obvious questions threw us off.
Having said that, it was insightful to be able to finally put our theoretical moot knowledge to practice and take the first step in what will hopefully be a long journey. We're proud to say that we left the competition with a better grasp of what to expect in a moot competition. Overall, it has been a challenging yet beneficial experience for us, and we definitely look forward to future competitions like this!” – Nimesha Theva, Tan Ejin, Khew Gerjean and Amanda Rachel Chong Szu Kim
“As first-time mooters, we found it interesting yet tiring as a whole. We were in a rush to make preparations for this competition due to the 2-week time frame we were given. On top of that, we also felt pressured by the overwhelming workload in law school. Nevertheless, the excitement we received from the entire process was worth the stress we had to go through.
In our view, although juggling multiple roles as law students can be draining, but it was worthwhile as it improved our researching and advocacy skills. It enabled us to see the law in a clearer way instead of just reading them from the textbooks.
Emerging as the runner-ups, we think we were relatively lucky because of the help we received from seniors and the other mooters. It was a great experience for us as the judges’ strictness was beyond our expectations. Hence, being able to impress them boosted our confidence. Taking the comments and advice the judges gave us to heart, our advocacy skills improved after every single round of the competition. We would love to join more upcoming mooting competitions as we deeply value every lesson we learnt throughout this competition.” - Alex Goh Wen Wei, Jerrine Gan Jia Lynn, Daphne Hew Zhi Xin
“As this was our first moot, we felt that the atmosphere was quite informal and relaxed which was not what we expected of a moot. Nevertheless, the CCA Mooting competition was a very rewarding one as it allowed us to learn about actual court submissions. The feedback from the judges aided us in improving ourselves for upcoming mooting competitions.
However, on the other hand, we found it very stressful and intense during the preparations especially when we first started discussing our arguments on the moot problem. People were giving their own input one after the other, which made the discussion messy and chaotic. Thankfully, we had a very experienced and helpful senior, Amitaesh, to help us formulate proper arguments based on the input given by each team.
The mooting competition itself was undoubtedly an eye-opening experience as we got a taste of what advocacy is like. We faced numerous challenges throughout the competition. Firstly, we had a hard time adapting to the courts' formal language. As first-time mooters, we also lacked the confidence to speak publicly. However, through numerous practices and mooting rounds, we managed to overcome our weaknesses.
We found this competition a wondrous learning journey. For that, we are keen on the opportunity to moot again. For us, mooting itself is a platform to improve our advocacy skills. We think that as law students, our speaking skills are equally as important as our writing skills. While school-based lessons may help us to hone our writing skills, mooting acts as a complementary element which allows us to practise our advocacy skills. - Chia Wei Ze, Ong Eng Hong, Adrian Chioh Jia Feng, Amir Wazien Amjad bin Abdul Mulod
TIPS AND ADVICE
“Mooting is scary, understandably so, seeing how it's a mix of public speaking and talking to a judge. However, the reality is rarely as bad as your inner anxiety makes it be. The first step is the scariest; and that's why it's also the most crucial. I would always encourage all who are hesitating to just take that first step, and pretty soon they'll be able to become great mooters in their own right.” – Tan Khye Vern, Captain of Taylor’s Mooting Society.
“It was a pleasure and an honour to coach the mooters at the CCA moot. For almost all of them, it was their first moot and more than half of them were barely in law school for 3 months. A huge congratulations to Alex, Jerrine and Daphne for coming in 2nd, but commendations to each and everyone one of them who stepped up and performed so well on such short notice.
My moot master and coach, Mr. Harcharan, always says, ‘Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.’ In this case, the fools who rushed in came out champions in every way. Onto the next one!” - Amitaesh Theva.