Simulation and Experiential Learning in Law: Courtroom Advocacy and Mooting

Presentation by lecturer and students

Abstract

Courtroom advocacy and mooting activity help to deepen disciplinary knowledge and understanding, reinforce learners’ engagement with a learning community by mirroring real-world professional practices, and enhance students’ employability and transferable skills. Student participation in courtroom advocacy and mooting helps to develop the graduate attributes of academic literacy, research literacy, and critical self-awareness and personal literacy. Students on the academic programmes in the School of Law have the opportunity to develop the skill of courtroom advocacy in the context of the undergraduate curriculum, and also in the context of extra-curricular mooting activity.   The undergraduate ‘Communication Skills for Lawyers’ module is concerned with communication skills in the context of courtroom advocacy and client interviewing. The course involves the use of DVD recording, analysis and reflection upon learning. Weekly small group workshops establish an effective and supportive community of learning, and allow students to develop their oral skills and receive feedback through a combination of self-assessment, peer assessment and tutor-led assessment. Advocacy is taught in the context of a plea in mitigation in the Crown Court, and the assessment involves a sentencing exercise in the context of a fictional criminal case study.  A moot is a legal problem set as an appeal case in the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court. It is the traditional method through which law students are introduced to practical experience of courtroom advocacy. All students on academic law programmes in the School of Law have the opportunity to participate in internal mooting competitions, with the winners representing Brookes in national mooting competitions. In recent years Brookes students have had considerable success in national mooting competitions, and the conference session will involve contributions from students as well as filmed extracts of student participation in courtroom advocacy and mooting. 

Keywords:  Simulation, Experiential Learning, Engaging students