Lawyering Moot Court

Hi Everyone!

I want to give you a quick overview of another component to “Lawyering”: Oral Arguments. As part of Lawyering we write an appellate brief and then argue in front of a “Chief Justice”, an alumnus of BU Law.

The oral argument was a good way to see how the written argument is a persuasive piece that aids in arguing for a client. Essentially, the oral argument is a skeleton of your written brief and tests your knowledge of the cases as applied to your client.

The oral argument can shed light on weaknesses in your argument as posed by the Chief Justice. I found it important to concede on some elements of the argument, but also make sure to steer the answer back toward favorability of my client. When the Chief Justice provided feedback at the end of the argument, he said it was important to be able to concede on certain elements but make sure to be persuasive for your client by citing and quoting cases that support my argument.

Additionally, it is important to anticipate what questions can be asked. Our lawyering fellows and professors did a great job of giving us a mock argument to start thinking about these questions. There was also an important element of public speaking, speaking confidently, and carrying yourself well. Eye contact with the judges and being able to hold yourself up under questioning was definitely important. In order to do this it was really crucial to know your argument so you don’t have to look down at your paper to answer questions.

The oral argument is a great way to gain exposure to litigation work, but also in public speaking!


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