Moot Court Advocacy Series – Season III: ‘Teamwork’, Episode VI: ‘What Makes It a Nightmare’

Every team starts its moot court preparations with enthusiasm a lot of motivation and high hopes. Some teams never lose this spirit. However, in most cases you have to deal with small and big crises. There are situations that can become extremely frustrating for the whole team. If you are able to identify them and solve early, they should not disrupt your preparations. However, if left unchecked, they may generate so much frustration you will stop enjoying the moot court experience altogether – not to mention performing well during the competition.

Here are five situations that can turn your team’s participation in a moot into a nightmare. Watch out and deal with them as a team as soon as they are noticed!

  1. Lack of communication

Quick and efficient communication is an essential component of your success. I have already stressed here and here how important it is to agree on the means you will use and establish adequate channels for your exchange of information and discussions. However, even the best framework will not work if you stop using it without explanation. Ignoring calls and messages is devastating for your team’s workflow and is stressful both for your coaches ad your teammates when they do not hear from you. Not responding, especially if something goes wrong or is not done timely, never improves the situation. I have never seen anyone drop out of the team because they honestly admitted they have a problem which requires more time to be solved. I have seen people drop out from the team because they literally disappeared.

  1. Lack of dedication

Poor communication may be a sign that there are is a much more serious problem looming on the horizon – uneven dedication between team members. In a perfect world the competition is equally important for everyone and everyone is ready to do his or hers part as badly as the other. Unfortunately, attitudes differ: some initially motivated people end up lagging behind, some get bored, some find mooting from the very beginning far less important than others… More often than not you are assessed as a team, so it is fair to say that the least engaged person sets standard for the others. Make sure this standard is high enough to perform well and that hard-working people do not get discouraged because of free riders.

  1. Lack of timeliness

Meeting the deadlines you set (or the ones set by organizers of a particular moot court) might seem self-explanatory. By being constantly late with delivering your input you not only put your work at risk. You disrupt the schedule of the whole team, what in the worst case may lead to submitting an unfinished memorandum. You obstruct other people’s work, since their position might depend on what you come up with. In consequence, monitoring timeliness and signalling potential delays as soon as possible really helps your team run smoothly.

  1. Lack of honesty

It goes without saying that small misstatements or outright lies regarding everything that is competition-related are unacceptable. They will ruin your cooperation with coaches and colleagues, destroy mutual trust that you need within the team to succeed. No matter how bad the situation is and whatever happens, be honest with the people you work with.

I hope that now you will be able to identify these undesirable problems and address them before they pose a real threat to your team!

All the best,


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