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How to Please the Court

A Moot Court Handbook


Edited By Paul I. Weizer

Designed for anyone who has an interest in using moot court simulations as an educational exercise, How to Please the Court brings together prominent moot court faculty who share their collective years of experience in building a successful moot court program. Touching on all aspects of the moot court experience, this book guides the reader through conducting legal research, the structure of an oral argument, the tournament experience, and the successes and rewards of competition.
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Chapter Three: The Basics of Oral Argument



The Basics of Oral Argument

Kimi King

For many students, speaking in front of other persons can be a daunting task, but once you have the basic principles down, it can become quite rewarding. The ability to communicate persuasively is a skill that virtually everyone needs to use throughout their lives. After you have mastered the ability to participate in moot court, most people find that they are less intimidated by public speaking in general. When you have been grilled by judges, attorneys, and law students, everything else is easy by comparison!

This chapter helps you prepare for your oral argument, and it contains two components to develop your speaking skills. The first component provides an introduction to principles of legal argumentation and underscores the importance of developing a “theory” about your case. It includes the fundamentals about structuring your argument so that it is coherent. The second component introduces you to principles of persuasive and effective speaking in the context of moot court. Here we include suggestions about how to improve your verbal skills and tips for successful moot court arguments.


Arguments are statements that assert a situation, condition, or state of affairs to be true by providing premises (underlying statements) to support the conclusion (end result you are seeking). The most important aspect of argumentation involves structuring your argument in a ← 45 | 46 → logical maimer to avoid common...

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