“Just don’t go into an online mooting thinking it will be the same.”

When we think of lawyers we think of paper, large courts and putting on a show. Claudia recently took part in the Vis International Moot competition, but in an online space. During the podcast Claudia discusses the platform Immediation, including the positives and drawbacks of participating in a moot online rather than in real life.

Claudia had three main takeaways in how online mooting distinguishes itself from advocacy in real life:

1. Persuasion

  1. One, it’s hard to accurately pick up on whether a tribunal is persuaded on a certain point. Quite common to have a mix of common and civil law judges on the same tribunal, and they tend to be persuaded on different things, or lose interest on different things. I believe as an advocate it is hard to pick up on when this is changing online.  

2. Presentation

  1. The point of a ‘moot’ is that it is a conversation on the law with a judge. This is a little bit lost when done online. Some persuasive techniques lost are also lost when advocating online: For example using rhetorical question.

3. Engagement

  • Online advocacy can swing in two ways. Either it takes longer, because judges will want to be polite, and the process of butting in whilst someone is speaking is quite laborious in terms of muting yourself. You may find you are making yourself heard with lots of ‘excuse me’s’.
  • The other way online advocacy can swing is that you may come out of it feeling like you engaged less with a judge than you would when advocating in real life. This could be because, out of politeness, a judge may feel less inclined to ask you questions. 

Claudia discusses how to fix these problems and some tips if you are mooting or pleading for a client online in the future in the episode.

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