Mooting at the School of Law

Mooting is a great way to build valuable research skills, develop oral advocacy skills and gain a valuable insight into the law in practice. The School of Law strongly encourages students to engage in mooting opportunities at least once during their law degrees.

What is it?

Mooting involves the preparation of written legal submissions and the delivery of oral argument in a mock hearing based on a set of hypothetical facts. The moot is set around an appeal case so there is no hearing of witnesses or expert evidence. Participants, usually working in a team of two, deliver their oral argument, respond to questions from the bench, and respond to the arguments of the opposing counsel. The sitting judge then adjudicates on the basis of the oral and written submissions. 

Why do it?

  • Build research, writing and oral advocacy skills
  • Experience what it is like to participate in a legal case
  • Work as a team and make valuable contacts
  • Enhance your CV and employment opportunities
  • Build confidence
  • Develop public speaking and presentation skills

Also did you know if you participate in an external moot there is an option of submitting the written submissions in fulfilment of the legal essay requirement? See the section below for details.

Mooting Opportunities in NUI Galway

Dr Conor Hanly, Lecturer at the School of Law, NUI Galway, discusses the opportunities available for mooting at the School of Law, NUI Galway.

Mooting Opportunities

Moot Court Module

The Law School offer students the option of taking a Moot Court module (LW437, 5 ECTS) where students spend a semester developing research, writing and presentation skills. Students then prepare legal submissions and engage in a moot court based on a hypothetical legal problem using the skills learned. We are extremely fortunate to have the cooperation of the Galway Court Service in the delivery of the module; the moot is held at the Galway City Courthouse, judged by barristers, solicitors and members of the judiciary.

Eligible students: Second and final year Bachelor of Civil Law, final year Bachelor of Corporate Law, second and final year LLB. Class size is limited to 16 and entry is on a competitive basis. Applicants must have a 2.1 average at least in their law modules to date.

Delivery: The classes are delivered in semester one with assessment taking place in January of the second semester.

Applications and queries: Anyone interested should attend the first class at 4pm on 8th September in ENG3036. Students should apply by the 15th of September using the application form below . Completed applications and queries should be directed to Dr Conor Hanly (conor.hanly@nuigalway.ie).

2015/16 Report

 The Moot Court Module final took place in February 2016 with the victorious team of Aisling Keenan (2LLB) and Niall Gaffney (2BCL) narrowly overcoming Orla Clissman (2BCL) and Andrew Barr (3BCL) in a tense final moot which exhibited everything that is positive about mooting before an initial bench comprising of Dr Ronán Kennedy, with Ms. Justice Carmel Stewart of the High Court in the Final.

 The School would like to thank both judges, in particular Ms. Justice Stewart who travelled from Dublin, for their time and effort. Special tribute to the ten mooters for their application, effort and enthusiasm which culminated in some fantastic mooting.

 Thanks also to all members of staff who so generously gave of their time, in particular Tom O’Malley for giving a guest lecture on court etiquette and Professor Patrick Lonergan, from Drama & Theatre Studies, who gave a practical and interactive class on public speaking. The team mentors were: Ursula Connolly, Dr Eoin Daly, Larry Donnelly, Nicola Murphy and Dr Brian Tobin, with Ursula and Brian’s teams battling in the final and Ursula’s team emerging victorious.

 Tom O’Malley, together with a number of NUIG graduates at the Bar, has organised for a cup/trophy in memory of one our graduates, the late Ross O’Driscoll, BL, to be presented to the winners of the internal moot in the Four Courts at an event to be attended by the late Mr O’Driscoll’s family. As recommended by Tom, it will be inscribed as follows: Nihil quod tetigit non ornavit meaning “there is nothing that he touched that he did not adorn” (adapted from a tribute by Dr Johnson to Oliver Goldsmith in 1776).

First Year Mooting Opportunities

First Year law students are also encouraged to participate in mooting opportunities. The student Law Society runs a moot court competition (see below). In addition, first BCL students take a module - LW122 Legal Procedure - which contains a mandatory moot element. This element will account for 25% of the grade of that module.

External Mooting Competitions

A number of external mooting competitions are held over the course of the academic year (principally in the second semester). Students are strongly encouraged to participate in at least one competition over the course of their law degree. The student Law Society on campus is an enthusiastic promoter of these moots so keep an eye on their announcements and the School of Law Facebook page for details. Remember too that members of Law School staff are always happy to provide advice to students on their submissions. Some of the mooting opportunities are listed below:

External Mooting Competitions and the Essay Requirement

The School is aware that although very rewarding external moots involve a significant time commitment. For this reason students who engage in external moots can submit the written legal submissions prepared for the external moot in fulfilment of the Law Essay requirement. Remember that you must obtain the lecturer’s permission in writing before availing of this option. Please contact the School of Law (law@nuigalway.ie) for further details and restrictions.

Student Law Society

The University student Law Society is a great way to get involved in student life and to participate in a number of law related events, including mooting. See here for details:

Student Testimonial - Maggie MacAonghusa BCL

Maggie MacAonghusaI graduated with a Bachelor of Civil Law degree in 2014.  The BCL at NUI Galway has proved to be an excellent choice for me... Final year for me was packed with some particularly engaging modules. 

I did a moot court module that taught us about advocacy, the preparation of written submissions and how to deliver oral arguments in front of a panel of judges…  I look forward to undertaking further study at postgraduate level at the University of Oxford.

Student Testimonial - Michael Wilkins BCL

Michael WilkinsIn my second year at NUI Galway I took part in two moot court competitions. I decided to get involved because I always enjoyed debating and it seemed like a great way to add to my legal education. Taking part in mooting pushes you to explore areas of the law that are often under current dispute so you gain a great insight into very topical issues. Furthermore, mooting allows you to put the legal skills you learn in the classroom into practice and the preparation phase greatly improves your research skills. From an employer's point of view, engaging in mooting shows that you take a genuine interest in your studies and thus, enhances your employability.