Module SXL-2220:
Advance Mooting & Legal Ethics

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Overall aims and purpose

A ‘moot' or ‘mooting' is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem in the form of a mock trial. It is perhaps the closest experience to appearing in court that a student can have whilst at University. Today the legal profession is demanding that law graduates, with aspirations of becoming solicitors and barristers, can provide plentiful evidence of their advocacy or mooting experience whilst at University. This module responds to these demands by both enhancing student’s employability skills and advancing candidates’ understanding of advocacy skills and legal ethics. In addition mooting can improve understanding and knowledge of particular areas of law; enhances confidence in public speaking; as well as improve legal research and presentation skills.

This is achieved through a series of interactive seminars focusing on advanced presentation skills, mooting research skills, legal ethics, and advanced courtroom etiquette. The module will also make use of reflective development portfolios; podcasts, e-recordings, peer-to-peer, various guest judges, and practitioner led guest workshops.

Building upon knowledge accumulated within the Legal Skills module, students will be expected to complete a mooting portfolio (60% of the module) and participate in one external competition (40% of the module).

The mooting portfolio will require candidates to reflect upon their personal and professional development, as well as evidence an understanding of legal ethics considerations. The portfolio will also require students to produce one balanced problem scenario question, and produce two model answers for both prosecution/appeal counsel and defence/response counsel. In completing this full learning cycle process, students will thereafter be given the opportunity to sit as a judge with a member of staff, and hear first year student present legal issues pertaining to their own scenario. In doing so students will benefit from a peer-to-peer learning exercise that encourages participants to more fully appreciate the link between scenario facts and relevant legal issues.

Oral and written communication skills will be enhanced within this module together with the use of information technology- through the preparation of skeleton arguments and bundles. Students on this module will advance their knowledge in a core legal subject offered by the Law School; as well enhance their advocacy skills taught in the first year. While doing so, candidates will also develop transferable skills such as legal research skills, teamwork and self-management skills.

Course content

Across the first semester learners will engage in reflective development exercises and practical workshops/mock court simulations in order to consider what makes a good advocate? Students will observe the mooting skills of advanced advocates, and partake in peer-to-peer reflection exercises (that will also reference transferrable employability skills). As part of students’ tuition in the first semester, seminars will focus on advanced presentation skills, confidence building, and national and international moot courtroom etiquette.

Students will be encouraged to work in teams of two to four, to select a national or international moot court competition to take part in. In preparing for their entry to such, classes will address advanced skeleton argument writing, advanced bundle preparations; and addressing and responding to questions from the judges’ bench. The class will also benefit from critical insights on such matters from law practitioners, including guest seminars by a solicitor, a barrister and a former practising judge.

In the second semester, students will be expected to critically analyse the legal ethics considerations attached to a number of fictitious case studies, as well as their own arguments. Towards the end of the module, students will be afforded the opportunity to draft, write, solve, critique and judge their own moot problem question; thus giving learners the opportunity to think about mooting from a wider, more critically balanced perspective.

Assessment Criteria

excellent

An excellent portfolio which contains all the relevant evidence. The portfolio evidences an outstanding ability to set targets, engage in reflective practice, and critically analyse one’s own professional development; alongside exceptional engagement with feedback received from both the facilitator(s) and peers. The portfolio similarly evidences a high standard of consideration for legal ethics considerations.

threshold

A satisfactory portfolio which contains all the relevant evidence. The portfolio contains some evidence of target setting, reflective practice, and professional development; alongside some engagement with feedback received from both the facilitator(s) and peers. The portfolio similarly evidences some, albeit limited, awareness of legal ethics considerations.

good

A good portfolio which contains all the relevant evidence. The portfolio evidences a good grasp of target setting, reflective practice, and professional development; alongside effective engagement with feedback received from both the facilitator(s) and peers. The portfolio similarly evidences a clear awareness of legal ethics considerations.

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate knowledge and analytical understanding of relevant legal ethical considerations when engaging in mooting activities.

  2. Plan, research and learn both independently, and as part of a small team (group work).

  3. Effectively communicate this information in both orally and in writing

  4. Make and present a reasoned, logical legal argument.

  5. Demonstrate a practical and analytical awareness of the applicability of legal principles to a given scenario.

  6. Apply knowledge of the law and solve legal problems.

  7. Understand and appreciate the context in which the law operates.

  8. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of relevant legal principles, legal rules and legal institutions.

  9. Analyse and synthesis complex information.

Assessment Methods

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 152
Seminar

20 x two hour seminars, delivered once a week (on campus).

40
Practical classes and workshops

3 x two hour mock trial internal moot exercises (on campus).

6
 

1 x two hour external moot exercise (off campus).

2

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Mentoring - Able to support, help, guide, inspire and/or coach others
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • Develop the ability to interpret legal rules and employ techniques of legal reasoning competently and efficiently in order to offer a range of solutions and conclusions to actual or hypothetical complex legal problems, all supported by relevant academic literature, jurisprudence and legislative research. Such solutions will be clearly communicated and presented
  • Develop the ability to analyse complex legal issues, set against the background of the political, social, economic or cultural contexts in which they may arise
  • Develop those skills which are necessary for scholarship and research in legal subjects, namely the ability to identify relevant primary and secondary legal sources and to retrieve accurate legal information using paper and electronic sources

Resources

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Pre-requisites:

Courses including this module