Written Submissions on Behalf of a First Year Student

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This article has been submitted by Vivek Shah  for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below.

STATEMENT OF JURISDICTION

The writer recognizes the power of CLATGyan to do complete justice in publishing this article and recognizes that such power is not constrained by any authority.

The writer humbly submits to the jurisdiction of CLATGyan to publish this article.

SUMMARY OF WRITE UP

Mooting very nice.

Other things also very nice.

Try everything.

Be happy and drink banta.

WRITE UP ADVANCED

As I come to terms with the high probability of me not making the 70% cut to the oral pleadings, I wonder what I have learned from this moot. I’m sure OSCOLA citations, near-perfect formatting, learning to get two separate forms of a page numbers in a Word document (yadda yadda yadda) are going to be of great help, but I’d like to think that I am taking something more than these mere clerical skills away with me at the end of mooting season 2K15.

Firstly, it is submitted that contrary to what most people think, researching for a moot is actually fun. Sure, you lose attendance, you sleep at 4 AM and show up to class in pajamas, your neck hurts because the half the quota of your sleep is completed in class on the hard desk, you don’t spend a waking moment without thinking about how much work you have left, you live in the library, you don’t always have time for friends, you skimp out on your previous commitments, you want to punch anybody who isn’t doing the moot and getting a good night’s sleep and you get a suntan due to prolonged exposure to your laptop’s screen; but, hey, it’s fun.

Secondly, it is submitted that, mooting teaches you time management like no other thing possibly could. I have done more work from 11:50 PM to 11:58 PM on submission day, than I did in my entire first semester. It is a rush unlike any other. (On a serious note, do not make the classic first year student mistake of leaving formatting for the end and having citations that say, “Cite some badass.”)

Thirdly, it is submitted that, more important than the specifics of mooting, mooting makes you think what you really want to do in the five years you will spend here. Seniors will tell you to moot and the sheer number of people doing the moot, will make you want to do it.

But I realise that mooting is just as important as attending a Jairam Ramesh talk, just as important as taking five minutes off and talking to a friend at Amul, just as important as blowing off research and playing Frisbee for a couple of hours. Sure, people will tell you otherwise and tell you how important it is that you have at least two international moots on your CV, but in the end, it’s your choice to join the bandwagon.

Because, “Bhai, agar mooting nahi kiya toh kya kiya?!”

It is easier to catch a case of apathy than a case of the flu on this campus. Too many people get caught up in the rat race, jumping from one class reading to a project submission without realizing that these five years are for much more than just academics. This college offers debating, acting, sports, quizzing and even Excel classes! And yet, most people do no more than what is required of them.

I shall mention here that in no way am I undermining the importance of mooting and stellar mooters to this university (the Reception area stands testament to the contrary), but all I’m saying is that mooting isn’t the be-all end-all of law school.

To me, people who are involved in activities such as IDIA, INSAAF, CRY, PLPDG, DPRP, the Gender Circle, the members of the SWC, HWC, Mess Committee and all the other committees are just as important as people involved in preparation for Jessup. People who win moots make this college the best of the bast, but there are lots of unsung heroes on campus ensuring that we get hot water in the winter, air-conditioned classes in the summer and fruit cream every Saturday night.

Fourthly, it is submitted that there is a reason for such digression from the discussion on mooting. I have seen a lot of people associate enthusiasm for mooting with a lust for a perfect CV. Maybe I haven’t been in this college that long, but I believe that large number of my friends who took part in the IMS year did so because they genuinely like it. Or maybe I’m being a naïve first year about this, I don’t know. In the end, as long as people work towards something they care about, be it reading up on Tax Law, helping the mess workers in their mediation or preparing a memorial with absolutely perfect citations (as some of my batchmates did), it really doesn’t matter. But the lack of enthusiasm on the part of some people is, to say the least, an unattractive quality.

Fifthly, it is submitted that, looking at the seniors is always an enriching experience. You see people with stellar GPAs, people who will never miss a day in the gym or on the court, people who try and raise an amount of seven lakhs for a man they didn’t even know a year ago and you realise that there is a lot to do on this campus as long as you grab the opportunities.

Lastly, it is submitted that, while you should definitely try mooting in the five years you are here, there are lots of other ways you could contribute to the college too, lots of other learning experiences that you shouldn’t miss out on and lots of interesting conversations you should definitely have.

PRAYER

Please participate in all the activities you can, be it a debate or an SBC meeting, a moot or a CRY visit, organizing Kairos or simply waking up at six in the morning to play Frisbee.

All of which is submitted humbly and respectfully.

– Vivek Shah

Year I, NLU-Delhi.

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