Waikato National Secondary Schools' Mooting Competition

Te Piringa - Faculty of Law conducts the annual mooting competition that is open to all schools across New Zealand.

The Waikato National Secondary Schools' Mooting Competition is an event for Year 11, 12 and 13 students to develop their advocacy skills in a competitive environment.  Approximately 40 New Zealand schools participate in an intense competition held over May - July each year.

The Waikato Faculty of Law is the only New Zealand law school that has proudly hosted this competition since 2001.

Future lawyers get to practice many practical legal skill during their study - client interviewing, witness examination, negotiations. But mooting is considered to be the most prestigious as it poses a number of professional and personal challenges.

Through the competition you will learn and apply vital legal skills.

You will:

  • Develop and present a legal argument and opinion
  • Learn the process of legal reasoning
  • Learn the principles of legal research
  • Enhance your public speaking and presentation skills
  • Learn the process of litigation (taking a case to court)
  • Learn about courtroom etiquette and procedures
  • Discover sources of law in New Zealand.

Read more about mooting competition further on this page.

What is a Moot?

A moot is a legal debate in a courtroom setting with a judge or a panel of judges. A moot regularly focuses on areas of law that have been subject to recent developments, or concern an area of uncertainty within the law. For example, the 2016 competition problem was focused on the relatively new Education Amendment Act 2013 in relation to surrender and retention of student property and searches.

Mooting competition puts two opposing teams of ‘lawyers’ against each other to argue their legal case based on the facts of the problem before a judge. Mooting has been part of the lawyers’ training for court procedures for hundreds of years, and plays an important role in becoming familiar with the legal system.

The key to mooting is the art of persuasion as it is only concerned with the points of law. Your job as a counsellor is to convince the judge that your interpretation of the law is the most appropriate to the case. The problems selected will give each counsel an equal chance to persuade the judge of the quality of their submission. This can be achieved by skilfully applying the relevant law and legal principles to the facts of your case.

Secondary Schools' Mooting Information Session (52min)

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Much like in a court, this competition puts two opposing teams of ‘lawyers’ against each other to argue a legal case before a judge. The ‘lawyers’ will prepare their case based on the fact problem provided.

Mooting is only concerned with the points of law. Therefore, your job as a lawyer will be to convince the judge that your interpretation of the law is the most appropriate to the case. This can be achieved by skilfully applying the relevant law and legal principles to the facts of your case.

What's it like to compete?

New Prize Pool

We have some great news!

McCaw Lewis Lawyers – a Hamilton-based legal firm, has joined Te Piringa – Faculty of Law and will be providing additional prizes for participants in the competition.

In addition to a $3,000 scholarship prize to each member of the winning team provided by the University of Waikato, McCaw Lewis Lawyers is offering 2.5 days work experience for all this year’s finalists. This means that up to 6 students would be able to gain an insight into the everyday life of a law firm and gain valuable experience working on real legal projects. In addition to this great opportunity, McCaw Lewis will also provide cash prizes to participants. The total cash prize pool is $2,500.

McCaw Lewis Lawyers have prepared notes to guide you through the preparation of written submissions.

McCaw Lewis Lawyers is a modern, forward thinking law firm, with a strong history that stretches back almost 100 years. The firm is committed to supporting the community. It does it in a number of ways including through sponsorships, scholarships and donations. A number of former partners of the firm have been appointed Judges and to other positions of public office.

Competition Preparation

This Mooting Handbook will provide you with practical guidance for court etiquette and written submissions. The Handbook will also cover general points of mooting, as well as outline the competition rules and regulations.

The 2017 competition problem and examples of submissions on behalf of Appellant and Respondent will give you an idea what your team’s submission should look like.

Workshop videos

We have organised a workshop to guide you through the preparation process. The workshop will help you to tackle the scenario problem and identify what is at the core of the argument on both sides; give you some tips on how to structure your submission and what strategies to employ to make a strong impression on the judge, and persuade them to accept your arguments.

View  2018 Schools' Mooting Workshops here:
Secondary Schools' Mooting Workshop - Part 1
Secondary Schools' Mooting Workshop - Part 2a
Secondary Schools' Mooting Workshop - Part 2b

You can access both PowerPoint presentations here:

Important dates for 2021

2021 dates to be confirmed.

The schedule below is a basic outline of the relevant steps to be followed in this competition (currently for information purposes only)

Expressions of interestTBC
Mooting problem is sent out TBC
Mooting workshop TBC
Submissions deadline TBC
Preliminary rounds (Hamilton)TBC
Semi-finals TBC
Finals TBC


Prize details to be confirmed.

I am interested, what shall I do?

First, to participate in the 2021 Waikato National Secondary Schools' Mooting Competition, you need to register your interest. You can do so by emailing us at [email protected]

Please see our Mooting Handbook for more information.

After registering your interest, the procedure is normally as follows:

Te Piringa will send you the mooting fact scenario and a set of materials that you will use for your legal research. All schools will be sent the same set of materials. During the first round of the competition, each school moots against one other school. Because there are two sides to a moot, your school will be given a side of the moot to take from the outset.
It is up to your school to decide how a team will be selected. Each team should have 2-3 competitors. We allow no more than 3 teams from each school to enter the competition.

If you want your team to benefit from the coaching of an experienced legal practitioner, but you are not sure how to find one, get in touch with Te Piringa. The Faculty of Law of the University of Waikato has established great working relationships with many law firms, judges and legal practitioners across New Zealand. Te Piringa alumni work in Auckland, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Christchurch, and many other parts of the country. Many of these experienced lawyers are happy to get involved. We will do our best to find an experienced coach to work with your team.

2018 Competition Results

In 2018 we continued our collaboration with the Hamilton-based law firm McCaw Lewis Lawyers who provided extra sponsorship and support to Te Piringa – Faculty of Law. In addition to 2 days of work experience for all 2018 finalists, a total cash prize pool of $2,500 provided by the firm was shared among the competitors.

2018 Competition Winners - ACG Strathallan, Auckland

Represented by Jack Lee, Will Ford and Rawiri Mahue.

Runners-upHamilton Boys' High School represented by Sameer Mandhan, Henry Yao and Joseph Licht
Best Mooter of the Competition Sameer Mandhan
New Zealand Māori Law Society Best Māori Mooter award Harper Smith
Best New School Mooting Team Diocesan School for Girls, Auckland

View past winners »



To register your interest for the 2021 competition, and for any other queries, please contact us at [email protected]