For those students who love going through oral arguments, which is sometimes called oral advocacy, doing your first-year oral argument can be easy. However, this can also cause a lot of anxiety for many students. It is important to look at the big picture and only give this process the amount of time and energy that it deserves, while still establishing a professional reputation for your legal career.
Take the following steps to master your oral argument:
(1) Avoid Preparing Too Much for Something that is Not Worth Much
For many law students, moot court in law school (or oral arguments in their legal writing class) is a pass/fail activity, as opposed to the graded paper that the student uses to make their argument. If it is pass/fail, limit the amount of time you spend in preparing for it. And with finals just weeks away, make sure you prioritize and do not let preparing for your oral argument the thing you do because you find it fun. Yes, practicing an oral argument may be more enjoyable than creating an outline or doing a practice exam. However, it will not get you the grades you need to have across the board for a high GPA. So limit your time.
(2) Be Professional
Be professional. You never know who your judge may be when you make your oral argument. Moot court can become an award on your resume. However, for most people, it is never spoken of again. If the moot court judge thought you were professional and then came across you during a pivotal point in your career, they are more likely to help you during that time and make referrals on your behalf or pass work on to you. Being professional includes many things – dressing in an appropriate suit, being prepared so you sound as if you know what you are talking about, and treating this as though you were going to court. Do not do anything distracting that may annoy the judges.
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