The Place and Efficacy of Simulations in Legal Education: A Preliminary Examination

Yvonne Marie Daly, Noelle Higgins


The American jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously said that “[t]he life of law has not been logic; it has been experience”. This paper examines the experiential learning technique of simulation, particularly the use of moot courts and mock trials, in the context of legal education. It provides an overview of extant literature along with an outline of the current place of simulation activities in Irish legal education and the results of a project carried out to examine the efficacy of simulation activities as a teaching and learning tool.


The development of formal legal education and the place of mooting within both academic and vocational training are considered within this paper. The combination of the literature review and the findings of the study carried out in the authors’ institution lead to the suggestion that experiential learning techniques, such as moot courts and mock trials, ought to form an integral part of modern law curricula, both in this jurisdiction and in others, both at undergraduate level and beyond.


Legal Education; Simulation; Moot Court; Mock Trial; Problem-Based Learning

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