Congratulations to all three of you. This is really a huge win.
- What was the primary motivation behind choosing to do the 9th NLIU National Corporate Law Moot 2021?
Abhishek – Thank you for your wishes. Well, this was our first moot, so we were not really picky about our choice and were open to explore almost any area. Nonetheless, when we were choosing from a list of moots before us, we just ensured two things. Firstly, it should be a good moot in terms of quality and organisation and secondly, that it had an appealing subject area. Since NLIU Corp Law Moot satisfied both, we did feel it was apt. Also, interestingly, our college has a culture of doing well in Corporate Law moots, so I suppose that was an added impetus too (laughs).
Shivali – The primary motivation was my inclination towards Corporate Law.
Nimisha –Thank you so much.So, NLIU Corp Law Moot is a reputable moot. We had gone through the previous year proposition of the moot and the subject area and issues that they put forth seemed interesting and moreover comprehensible even though we had almost no knowledge of corporate law. Also, before we had finalised the moot, we were doing a preliminary reading on corporate law and we all found the subject area very interesting and very relevant in the current scenario. So, I guess it was the newfound interest, coupled with the credibility and relevance of the NLIU Corporate Law Moot that made it our natural first choice.
- How was the process of preparation? How did you go about the entire stage?
Abhishek – I think we all can agree that our quality and quantity of preparation gradually increased. I say that because we were all first-time mooters and so we were learning not just about the subject area and the proposition but essentially also how to moot. That includes learning to read the proposition properly, researching for a moot, drafting, and preparing for the orals.
Right from the start, the best of mooters from our college were mentoring us in every possible manner. We gave them simulated rounds and ensured that we implement their feedback. We anticipated different scenarios and asked a huge lot of questions. I think this was key in covering for our lack of experience because we went with a great portion of their experience, thereby being prepared for multiple tricky situations during the moot.
Shivali – The journey was filled with a lot of good days and bad ones, highs, and lows but I am glad we made it through and how.
Nimisha – For the whole preparation thing our seniors had given us a rough structure of how to go about the process and it was Abhishek who designed these timelines and due dates for different stages. So, like before the moot proposition came out, we had done our preliminary reading of the Companies Act and articles on the same and a few articles on IBC. Then once the problem was out, we divided the issues among ourselves and carried on our respective research. The research phase was more like a continuing phase wherein we used to meet regularly and put forth our arguments, authorities, etcetera. We used to then dissect each other’s arguments and suggest changes if need be. We had drafted our parts and in the end, all of it was compiled and drafted into what became our memorials. For the orals, they had been giving rounds regularly even during the end of the research and drafting phase, it was the frequency of oral rounds that increased gradually.
- How was it like working with the team? What do you think are your team’s fortes? What were the roadblocks?
Abhishek – It was a great experience overall. Although the virtual platform had its downfalls as well. Coordination was a problem, as while drafting, consistency is key, and teams usually sit together while drafting to ensure that. We could not do that and had to sit for long hours on a zoom meeting. Compilation of all our drafts was the most unpleasant experience ever! There was a point of time when around 12 documents were opened on my laptop that was mailed to by my teammates and that had to be put in one document, while also making sure that the formatting is not disturbed because of different editions of MS-Word.
According to me one of our major forte would be effective research. There were 6 independent issues in our moot proposition and each one of us had taken 2 issues. We all managed to cover maximum ground because not once were we caught off-guard by another team’s research or memorials.
A major roadblock was not having enough exposure to the subject area. Despite the extensive research, as second years none of us had an elaborate idea of the law. This often led to us second-guessing our arguments and I think we were confident only after we saw these arguments work well before a bench of learned judges.
Shivali – I genuinely feel I was blessed with understanding teammates who did their best to support me at every phase. I think our team’s forte was consistent hard work and perseverance. The biggest roadblock in our journey was the virtual set up which made our communication difficult.
Nimisha – Although we three had minimal interaction in the University, yet we clicked really well and over the course of the moot we became really frank with each other and quite efficient in terms of functioning as a team.
I guess our forte was research as well as oratory skills. Abhishek and Shivali were very good at having a conversational styled oral round which proved to be a big plus point.
A major roadblock was the fact that everything had to be done on the virtual platform and the other roadblock was the fact that we had almost no knowledge of corporate law and international law so while researching or framing arguments we had to keep going back and forth to clear the gaps and basics.
- How many teams were you up against in the competition? How was the final round-up against Tamil Nadu National Law University? How will you describe the opposition team? (Also Mention the Total Number of Teams Participated)
Abhishek – A total of 24 teams participated and We had two preliminary rounds and subsequently Quarters, Semis and Finals. So, we faced a total of 5 teams.
The final round was a great round, one of my favorite rounds in the moot. The reason being, we could feel that we were improving during the moot, and after every subsequent round, our confidence and style of speaking enhanced massively. So, it would be fair to say that both the teams performed exceedingly well in the finals. Additionally, the experience of arguing before such dignitaries was in itself a pleasure.
When it hits that our total expanse of knowledge on IBC is probably 1% of what the judge has at the back of his mind, it gets a bit overwhelming. At the same time when we see that they are eventually convinced with our arguments, it is immensely satisfactory. Also, when such esteemed judges speak to us during the round by our name (A point when one of the judges said “Mr. Kurian, I have a question for you”) and treat us like a real-life advocate, it seems unreal.
The team from TNNLU was brilliant. They were perfect in that round according to me. Not once did they seem anxious or puzzled by what the judges were throwing at them. Their research was also of great quality.
Shivali – We were against 24 teams. Our final round with TNNLU was nerve-wracking. The opposition team had a great command on the law and were good orators as well.
- Students mostly are too scared and hesitating while participating in moot court due to intense research work. What are the basics of researching?
Abhishek – Well, I think there is good reason to feel that way. There was a point where I was stuck with one of the issues and could not come up with a single argument or any material that would support my case. That was nerve-wrecking then, but after getting a hang of the pertinent law, it does get simpler. I personally loved researching on a new line of thought, but when the deadlines were close that same exciting experience starts to get stressful. So, it is very important to proceed in an organised and structured manner.
I would suggest, first one must try and figure out the law involved, read the bare provisions, and then move onto its interpretations and also quality literature on it. Once that has been understood, using effective research techniques helps in finding relevant cases. Yes, it can be intense at times, but the returns are worth it. Because a lot of research goes into your memorial and when we received the Best Memo for Petitioners, it came as a pleasant surprise to us and was really satisfactory.
Shivali – Basics of research primarily include the determination of legal proposition.
Nimisha – As law students research is something that is scary but inevitable, and according to me once you get a hang of researching and you get into the flow of it the whole process becomes anything but scary.
So, like we were in our third semester with no knowledge of corporate law, so in a case like this getting a hang of the subject area should be the first priority. Then one can move towards reading articles, bare acts, papers, judgements, law commission and other reports, news, etcetera to understand the issues. I personally first start with reading articles and papers on the issue to identify the relevant provisions, laws and judge
ments that are to be read. One should read the act and relevant judgements because that is the best way to identifying the loopholes and understanding the interpretations. Additionally, commentaries can be great for understanding and clearing basics.
6. How important is mooting in a law student’s career? What message would you like to pass on to the mooters and the non-mooters?
Abhishek – Three skills a lawyer must have in his/her arsenal are legal research, drafting, and oratory skills. Mooting gives you an opportunity to work at all three of them. While a real court experience is obviously different from a moot court, this is the closest it can get and would really help a law student in honing these skills. Also, I personally feel that in law school we are not taught subjects in that kind of depth, as a moot would require you to, and hence if there is a particular area of law one is interested in, picking a moot related to that subject can turn to be very fruitful.
So, I would definitely say that it is an enriching experience and recommend mooting to law students, but at the same time I don’t think it must be seen as a compulsion in law school and must be done with interest and a bit of passion.
Shivali – Mooting forms an important part of the legal curriculum. It is the closest experience that a law student can get in a real courtroom. An important message would be that all mooting is a great experience which helps manifold in the personality development of the student.
Nimisha – Mooting is a great learning experience, and it makes you confident in respect of the knowledge and skills that you garner during the whole experience. Furthermore, you gradually start to enjoy even the stress and the accompanying rush of adrenaline. Nonetheless, one should not be compelled to do a moot because of the fear of missing out, you can, and maybe should try your hand at it, but it is not something for which you should beat yourself up. The best part about law school is the fact that it provides a myriad of options from which one can get a fulfilling learning experience and mooting is just one of them.
- Final comments on the level of competition and the organisation of the competition?
Abhishek – The level of competition was excellent. In almost all of the advanced rounds, we faced teams that were senior to us, finally competing with a team of 4th years in the finals, who as I mentioned before were a great team.
The organisation was very smooth, especially for a virtual setting. I must also point out that the judges seemed to be briefed very well, since the proposition had a lot of intricate facts and details. The court clerks allotted were also very prompt.
Shivali – It was a great mooting experience with NLIU. They tried their best to give us a real moot experience in a virtual set up.
Nimisha –The level of competitions was really good which was reflected in the moot proposition, the memorials that we received on the day of the competition, and the oratory skills of the speakers.
Despite the fact that everything was in a virtual setting the organisation was very smooth and efficient, there was not a single round wherein there was a lag or delay.
- Any other thing you would like to mention about the moot and how Covid 19 will affect the Moot Court Scenario in upcoming days?
Abhishek – The moot was conducted virtually so it did give me a fair idea of the possible pitfalls. There was a point during the rounds, when the other team was speaking where my laptop stopped working and I was out of the meeting for a good 12 minutes. It was very stressful, and I immediately managed to switch to another laptop. I somehow managed to keep my calm and a few minutes after I returned to the rounds, it was my turn to speak.
I politely asked the judges to give me a minute to gather my arguments (and frankly recover from the dreadful situation). They permitted that I was able to continue comfortably. My point being, this is a real possibility in a virtual moot, and one must be prepared with a spare laptop/ device and if possible, even a spare internet connection.
Shivali – COVID 19 has affected us all greatly. But I am glad even in such adverse conditions, moot court associations are making an active effort to give students the opportunity of participating in moot competitions. Eagerly waiting to take part in an offline moot competition after the pandemic ends.
Nimisha – While COVID 19 is here to stay for a while, however, with colleges and universities reopening in the near future, hopefully the moot competitions will also shift back to being held at their respective venues. So, the issues that pop up while preparing and presenting on a virtual platform will become (fingers-crossed) just a nostalgic memory.
- Are there any tips/pointers you could share with the future participants and aspirants for National Moots?
Abhishek – Well, I guess it is still too early for us to give advice on mooting(laughs). But a few things I would suggest: 1. Please do not ignore your memorial; 2.Give plenty of rounds to seniors and time yourself well during these rounds; 3. Learn the exact paragraph number and line number of the moot proposition that you would be using during your submissions; 4. Do not think of it as a presentation or an elocution, but as a formal conversation with the judges.
Shivali – The only tip to the students is to have faith and confidence in them and with proper mentorship they can achieve whatever they want.
Nimisha – According to the most important tip is to have a plan, a well-structured plan with a timeline, due dates, brake up of tasks, etcetera.
- How would you describe the mooting culture in NLUO?
Abhishek – The mooting culture at NLUO is at a pretty good level. Despite being one of the newer NLUs it has picked up really well, and we have been making a good name in mooting. The seniors who helped us were so willing to help all the time and teach us different aspects of mooting, and also give us the necessary confidence we required. I feel our seniors have laid a strong foundation and have also set really high standards for us to meet. I really hope I am able to contribute to the culture of mooting at NLUO.
Shivali – We have an active mooting culture in NLUO. The seniors are really helpful and try their best to mentor us despite their other engagements.
Nimisha – We have a great mooting culture at NLUO, almost everyone is very keen on trying their hand at mooting. The moot society and our seniors have worked very hard to shape this culture. Also, the seniors are very helpful and are always there to guide the teams, help them with orals and so much more.
Abhishek Kurian, Year: 2nd-year B.A.LLB, Area of Interest: IBC, Corporate Law, Arbitration and ADR (in general)
Shivali Srivastava, Year: 2nd-year B.A.LLB, Area of Interest: Corporate Law
Nimisha, Year: 2nd-year B.A.LLB, Area of Interest: Constitutional Law, IBC, Sociology
Connect with the Team ( Linkedin )
Read More Interviews
- I am a Rainbow with so many shades of happiness to spread!” – Twinkle Makol – Bharati College, DU
- FAILURE, BETRAYAL, GETTING MISLED and anything that has to do with giving up has never stopped me from putting my foot into things that fascinate me – Ayushi Baaliyan, College of Vocational Studies, DU