Aishwarya Shaji | Herbert Smith Freehills Junior Mooting Competition Winner | CASEDO Interview

“A great advantage of technology is that it helps to level the playing field. The use of technology within the legal sector is a much-needed change that has been accelerated by COVID-19. Casedo is brilliant software not only because it contributes to sustainability by helping students and professionals switch to paperless advocacy but also because it is intuitive to use and cost-effective”

Aishwarya Shaji


Aishwarya is a penultimate year law student at University College London. She is the Second-Year Representative at the UCL Law Society Committee and a research intern at Legal Atlas. As an aspiring barrister and tech enthusiast, she was well equipped for success at the Herbert Smith Freehills Junior Mooting Competition, sponsored by Casedo.

On the 28th October 2020, Milad Shojaei interviewed Aishwarya on her experience mooting paperlessly with Casedo.


Tell us a bit about yourself, what area of law are you studying, what area of law you are trying to go into, are you planning to qualify as a barrister or a solicitor?

I’m a second-year law student at University College London (UCL), and in the committee at the law society. I was elected last year as the first-year representative, and this year I was also elected as a second-year representative. I was born and raised in Kuwait but I’m originally from India, but having lived my whole life in Kuwait, this is my first time studying abroad. As for the area of law, it is quite hard to answer that now, since we only studied compulsory modules, but my favourites so far have been criminal law, tort law, international law, public law, and human rights. So, they are more public focused. I am also more tilted towards the bar, I love advocacy, and it is just that having seen solicitors as well as barristers, I think that the work barristers do, speaks to me more, the way they go about their work, how diverse it is, and how passionate they are about what they do. So, I’m definitely more interested in the bar for now.


What was your mooting experience like before the Junior Mooting Competition at UCL?

I think it is the same for a lot of students coming to law school that we have very little to zero mooting experience, so personally I had no mooting experience at all, but I was very interested in the idea of mooting. I remember coming to law school thinking that this is that one activity that I definitely wanted to try out. But actually, the Junior mooting competition is traditionally a part of our freshers’ fortnight. Last year I remember sitting as a fresher watching the finals. It was Lord Hodge that was judging the last years’ competition. I understood absolutely nothing as it was just my second week of law school, but I just really enjoyed watching it, it was interesting to see how the participants were conducting themselves, how they structured their arguments, and I think I picked up a lot of things intuitively from just watching. It was amazing just going through that process a year later, I’m really humbled by it.


It was really exciting seeing Lord Carnwath getting involved and adjudicating. What was it like mooting before a supreme court judge?

I think the fact that we were all doing it from our homes, across the world, and there was the comfort of doing it at home, rather than seeing him actually in front of us. There is definitely a real difference when you are advocating in front of an actual judge or someone with an actual judging experience compared to advocating in front of a solicitor or students who have mooted before. The way judges think is different, and actually seeing it happen in front of me was very interesting.


The Casedo team were really excited in helping the moot go paperless and virtual. As someone who always had an eye for the law and mooting, what was your opinion in mooting in this revised way?

I had heard about Casedo, and have seen people who have participated in moots hosted by Casedo. It was very interesting to think that we are having paperless moots now and of course there is a division of opinions between people thinking that even though we have paperless moots, in the real world the majority of barristers are heavily reliant on paper, but actually going through the experience of a paperless moot I definitely think it is something people should be testing and trying out. Firstly, because it is great for the environment, also the idea of printing out extensive pages is exhausting, so the idea that for the mooting we had it paperless was great. Also, the idea that Casedo was thought of and developed by a barrister, plays a huge role in how seamless the software is. That is because it was designed by someone who knows the ins and outs of the system really well, so every time I use Casedo to figure out how to do something, the feature for it was always there, and so I was never faced with a situation where I felt that I could do something with paper that I could not have done in Casedo. Which is great, because I think that really speaks to the strengths of Casedo as a software, and something really is practically useful. As it is with any technology, the first few days you wouldn’t know where to go or how to use it, but with Casedo it was after very few days that I was able to use it, and that’s what I love about the software. It’s very easy, and very quick. I thought it was brilliant actually.


Do you think the legal sector needs more technology?

I think technology is probably the most brilliant thing in terms of levelling the playing field for everybody. It really helps a lot of people gain access many things within law, and the thing about law is that it can get very complicating very quickly if you’re someone who has never been accustomed to the system and all of a sudden you want to find out the law about something or you have to be involved in a criminal justice system for example it can be very complicating for you to understand things, and technology can help reducing those inequalities. I’m actually a research assistant with a legal intelligence company called Legal Atlas, and they work with artificial intelligence, visuals, maps and more, in order to help the people understand the law. I work for the jurisdictions of UK and India, because that’s what I’m familiar with, this is about me using my experience and the technology available in order to create summaries about the law that people can understand, it’s quite difficult because you have to think about how someone who has absolutely no idea about the law and the legal jargons, and explain things to them.

I actually did a first-year workshop with Herbert Smith Freehills who was also a sponsor for the Junior Mooting Competition at UCL, and they were talking about innovation, and many people think that technology is going to take away the role of lawyers, and they were very firm in their opinions and I agree with it, that technology only helps focus our skills on the more important areas of advocacy, and building really good relationships with the clients and customers, and leaving the huge and tiring aspects of being a lawyer such as the extensive documents to the technology, and that’s okay. I definitely think the legal sector has been very receptive of technology and it will continue in the future.


Do you think there is any particular area where technology could be used more widely?

I think there has been major usage of technology in those areas such as smart contracts and even many firms are very proud of the technologies they develop themselves. So definitely in the commercial, and corporate world where you have many documents, and things like mergers and acquisitions, the paper work can be very complicated, you wouldn’t want a team of brilliant people to be sitting pouring over papers, when technology can come in and point out different cause that might have issues within a contract or certain words that are ambiguous, that would be a great use of technology, and it leaves a lot of time to lawyers to do more with the time and skills that they have.

I think one area that might be a little more resistant to technology would be criminal law, I know that there was a move to remove jury trials because it was so complicated having different jurors in different locations, and I know an organisation called Justice, they had several trials with virtual juries, and I really wanted to see one as an audience, and it does work, but it takes a lot of time, so that might be an inefficient way of doing things. So definitely technology would be most useful in the commercial sector for now.


Were there any stand-out features of the software itself that really worked for you and gave you a particular edge when mooting?

I think there were many features such as putting links next to your submissions, and having the second viewer instead of putting tabs and dividers that you refer the judge to, was in my opinion a very well thought of. Especially after having been accustomed to a particular way of mooting, and having to switch to this new system was at first quite stressful. But after having used it, most of us thought that it was a brilliant tool, simply because everything in the software was well thought out. It really is a practical system that was designed, not just for mooting, but as Ross mentioned, it can also be as useful in court. It’s very intuitive to use, there is no difficulty at all.


Do you think the changes brought about are going to stick,post pandemic? Are we going to embrace them and discover we were working primitively before and that there are better ways to work? Or do you think we will go back and revert to the old ways?

I definitely do not think that we are going to revert back to all of the habits that we had. I think the pandemic really forced the entire world to see that the things we thought were so necessary, and we could not live without, we actually could. It’s absolutely possible to have trials virtually, it’s possible to work from home, and get things done. It is possible to move forward, but obviously that has brought about a lot of difficulties for people because it was so unexpected. Such as some people didn’t have a proper place to work at home, and that is true for people from every profession, so suddenly people no longer had the privilege to separate work from home life. But I do think it has been long enough now during covid-19 where we kind of learn how to grapple with these problems. But I do think that by holding trials or hearings remotely, the biggest advantage is that it solves a lot of problems with backlog and also helps with the courts who were closed due to cuts in legal aid or cuts in funding, and that there isn’t even space holding these trials which results in people waiting for so long to simply have their hearings. Having virtual trials really helps solve those problems.


As a student moving forward, do you think there will be any use for Casedo outside of the legal world, perhaps in the student capacity, or anything else?

Actually, a lot of other participants who have done mooting realised that Casedo is really helpful for other student needs too. It would be useful in collating articles, having all of your research materials in one place, having different PDFs together, and things like that.

So it’s really not a software that is just helpful for mooting, and for advocacy or anything like that. But I definitely see that I can use it, and I do use it and a lot of my friends have also been using it.


Brilliant, thank you so much for your time, and congratulations again on your success. Everyone in Casedo is very proud of you, and with your ability to use the software. Hopefully we will see a lot of the changes we discussed stick and a lot more technology in the legal sector.

Thank you so much Milad, it’s been great.


Many thanks to Aishwarya for taking the time to share her opinions on the legal tech landscape, and Casedo’s wider utility for students - we are very excited to see her in practice as a paperless lawyer in the years to come!

Aishwarya Shaji

UCL Junior Mooting Competition Winner 2019/2020

Congratulations to the UCL Junior Mooting Competition 2019/2020 winner Aishwarya Shaji!

This year we're sponsoring the UCL Law Society Mooting competitions. As part of this partnership finalists to the previous year's (2019/2020) competition also used Casedo.

The UCL JMC 2019/2020 final round took place on the 7th of October 2020, and we are more than delighted to announce that the winner of the JMC final round was Aishwarya Shaji. She carefully prepared her written submissions and presented a very strong oral argument while effectively using Casedo to deliver her arguments easier and faster.

We would also like to congratulate the other mooters for their great efforts and wish them the best of luck for all of the future competitions.


Paperless Moot Winner

The Casedo Paperless Moot 2019 - Event Report

This year we launched the Casedo Paperless Moot— the world’s first and only digital mooting competition. We invited teams from universities across the city to prepare written submissions and present oral arguments, competing against each other to win a cash prize and exclusive access to the Casedo software for the rest of their time at university.


Paperless Moot Runner Up 2
Neil Abrey
Paperless Moot Runner Up 1
Gizem Akilli

The 2019 Casedo Paperless Moot concerned the mock case of Re Jones & Lewis, centered around elements of land law in a family dispute. In this case, it was the question of law that arises from the legislation and case law about express and constructive trust of land — with the relevant statutes being the Trust of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 and section 53 of the Law of Property Act 1925.


After working closely with the mooting directors at the top law schools in London and their respective law societies, Casedo invited second and third-year students from UCL, King’s College, SOAS, Queen Mary, Birkbeck and City University to prepare and present their skeleton arguments. Two students were then selected from each university by the Casedo adjudicators to advance as a team, representing their university at the finals. Many thanks to 33 Bedford Row for allowing us to run the moot from their Chambers.


Paperless Moot 4

We received many impressive submissions from students across all institutions and through a very difficult judging process we are delighted to announce our winners:

  • Low Tak Yip from UCL won the Paperless Lawyer Award for being crowned the winner of the Paperless Moot.


  • Yasemin Gurdal from KCL won the Paperless Lawyer Award for coming as second place at the competition.


  • Gizem Akilli from City University & Neil Abrey from Birkbeck University won the Casedo Achievement Award for being the next best at the finals and were highly commended for their advocacy and efforts in being paperless lawyers.


The Paperless Moot was an exciting and rewarding competition to demonstrate what our vision entails for the future of the legal sector. As the moot was entirely reliant on the Casedo software, students were able to use digital tools to save time and avoid needless preparation and presentation of paper bundles. In effect, Casedo did not change the mooting process but only served to improve and support sustainable approaches to the law in practice. We are very pleased with the response we have had from students who are eager to continue working paperlessly in future moots!


To keep up to date on news and announcement in relation to the moot, please follow us on Twitter or on our LinkedIn Page.


If you are a university or higher education institution interested in participating in future moots, please forward your queries as a message to


We welcome any academics and legal practitioners who would like to volunteer their time to assist in marking/and or judging the moot.


Paperless Moot 1


“It was a fun experience for me to moot from an electronic bundle with links. I realise that it is actually easier to deliver a case when the judge can quickly get to the relevant section and can see it highlighted. The win was an added bonus that was a great way to start the weekend!”

-Low Tak Yip, UCL Student and Paperless Moot 2019 winner


“As a law student always aspiring to work more effectively and to use digital tools to manage my workloads, Casedo was the answer for me. Having the opportunity to dive right in and use the software during the Casedo Paperless Moot, I was really able to see how much potential it offered to make me a better lawyer. It did not change anything about the mooting procedure, only made it better, smarter and more exciting!”

-Gizem Akilli, City University Law student and finalist at the Paperless Moot 2019


“While writing my paper submissions I remember asking myself: How on earth has no one come up with something like this before? Despite appearing daunting at the beginning, the software is extremely elegant and simple to use and I hope that one day it will be commonly used as it obviates the need for paper bundles entirely. The moot was a charming experience and I really appreciated the administrators and the judge’s friendliness and enthusiasm, which really took the pressure off. I feel like their acknowledgement of a second place was very mature of them because in the past I was turned off by the overly adversarial and aggressive atmosphere in such competitions. The moot problem was also outstandingly written and deciphering its issues was a joy!”

-Yasemin Gurdal, KCL Law student and runner up at the Paperless Moot 2019.


“Going paperless not only saves trees but also saves time spent flipping through bundles, finding key quotes and relevant documentation! It was fun to explore the new ways of mooting at the Paperless Moot, especially as it responds to calls for better protection of the environment and procedural efficiency. The software has a friendly user-interface and I found it easy to navigate as it usefully resembles a digital version of a bundle”

-Sarah Tsoi, UCL Law student


“Intuitive, neat and modern looking. It helped break the paper-wasting habit. But if you really need to print, it helps you do it too!”

-Alessandro Diev, KCL Law student


“I found the software extremely easy to use and a great help with organising my submissions. With paper submissions, its often a bit cumbersome to direct the judge to a relevant part of a case and wait for him to flip through the entire bundle to get the relevant bit, but thankfully that problem seems to be avoided with Casedo! Of course the fact that it avoids the need to car around large double lever binders is, in and of itself a plus as well”

-Maxwell Pillmore, UCL Law student