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From a Sakht Londa Perspective: Moot Court Research for Law Students

A father once said to his two quarrelling daughters, “Children, let’s settle this like adults.”

Both daughters responded, “Let’s moot!”

Every law student’s journey is incomplete without participating in the extra-curricular activities that his/her law school has to offer. Moot court perspective is one such activity wherein you get to conduct yourself like a lawyer before you have actually completed your law-school. The perspective benefits of participating in moots are many, such as cultivating the habit of becoming a team player, developing the ability to put forth one’s contention vehemently, and, most importantly, learning what to say and what not to say in a court room.

Secondly, the beauty of participating in moots is like that of taking up a new hobby. The challenge it poses is exhilarating as you have an actual case to solve while you’re still in law-school. One definitely needs to invest a considerable amount of time, energy and resources to succeed in moots, but trust me it’s worth the effort. When one steps out of the day-to-day (and sometimes mundane) routine academics in pursuit of exploring solutions for a moot problem, even when unrelated to your academics, the end-results are very rewarding in the long-run, irrespective of your ranking in the competition. The knowledge and experience you gain when you participate in moot court competitions are going to remain with you for the rest of your life. Additionally, they will also have a positive impact on your CV.

Generally speaking, every moot court competition in India has a team comprising of 2 speakers + 1 researcher. The research part is crucial for the success of any team. The researcher is like a backbone to the speakers. He/she has to have an in-depth analysis of the moot problem and has to devise arguments for both sides of the problem, in consultation with his/her fellow speakers.

The most captivating feature of a moot is that a team has to prepare arguments for both the sides (for the motion as well as against the motion). Such an exercise hones one’s analytical skills, which are crucial for any lawyer. As Charles Lamb rightly puts, “He is no lawyer, who cannot take two sides!”

The researcher should be able to aid and assist the speakers with the requisite information that the speaker is in need of during the arguments. In other words, the speaker is like Arjuna (from Mahabharata) who looks upon his charioteer, Krishna, for sound advice during the war of Kurukshetra against Kuaravas. The researcher is that Krishna in a moot court competition!

-Yash Shah