How to find ‘the one’ (Mooting Edition)
So I’ve just participated in my first moot and I had an amazing experience. It wouldn't have been so amazing were it not for my amazing partner. So this blog (if she’s reading it) is dedicated to her.
We were very lucky. We knew each other from our Torts tutorial and then when the Torts moot came along we just decided we were going to give it a go. For others there may not be such an obvious choice but luckily for you partnering with an amazing lady taught me a few tricks in figuring out what you are looking for.
1. Strengths and Weaknesses
When mooting it is often easy to forget that you are in fact a team. This is probably because you often deal with separate issues and you stand up and speak to the judges one at a time. You also often find yourself attracted to people who have the same strengths as you. What I’ve found to be the case is that if you have two people who have opposite strengths and weaknesses this works significantly better. My strength is that I am a very dynamic and convincing speaker but I often struggle to be conversational with the judges. My partner’s strengths are that she is able to successfully engage the judges in a - you guessed it - conversation. When judges look at us as a team they see a range of strengths - this will get you a long way.
There is no point having a partner who can't listen to constructive criticism. So often you don’t get extensive feedback from the judges and it's you and your partner that have a better gauge on how the other went. If you’re with someone who can't listen to genuine suggestions they're not someone who's going to grow with you. Mooting partnerships are about growth. From pre-lims in your first moot to semi-finals to infinity and beyond if you stick together there is so much opportunity for growth. If you cannot give and accept feedback from each other this just won't happen.
Your partner needs to be friendly. I cannot stress this enough! Mooting is a high stress intense situation and if your partner is not friendly enough to stop working and crack a joke once in a while then you’re going to go mad. My partner and I once could not stop giggling because we were discussing how funny it would be if one of us went up there and peed our pants. It helped us both relax and be more engaging when we mooted that evening because of it. Also don’t be afraid to do stuff you might find corny. My partner and I were lucky enough to participate in grand finals of a moot recently and before we went up there we both wrote on a piece of paper to each other “I love you”. It sounds cheesy but it was so comforting when I stood at the lectern I knew she was with me and she supported me.
This one may seem like obvious but it saddens me how many times I've seen really strong mooters moot and not be able to progress in competitions because their partners pulled out on them at the last minute. You know how much work you expect of yourself and your partner. Make sure you are partnered with someone who not only meets that expectation but is happy to. Some people are intense and some people are more relaxed in the work they do to prepare for a moot. Having someone with the same expectations as you is really going to secure that partnership. So once you’re sure you have someone who is going to turn up then evaluate the effort they put in and whether that is someone who will put in as much work as you want or expect.
You cannot and I repeat cannot develop a continuing mooting partnership with someone who does not love it. Mooting is an incredible amount of work mixed with a horrendous lack of sleep. If your partner does not love what they are doing then they are not going to put in the work and are going to get up there and embarrass themselves.
There is someone out there for you. Someone to get you through all the incredibly late nights. Someone to calm you down when you realise you are freaking out. Someone to grow with and to become one of your most amazing friends. It’s a special bond that I will cherish for a long time.
Enjoyed this post? Sign up for the Survive Law weekly newsletter for more.