Students Win Second World Mooting Championship

A team of four students won first place in the Niagara International Law Moot Court Competition, sponsored by the Canada-U.S. Law Institute and held in Washington, D.C. Second-year law student Sumeet Jain won the Best Oralist award, and second-year law student Andrew Lucas won second place. Jain and Lucas also won the award for Best Respondent Argument (for combined oral and written presentations), and Jain won an ABA Book Award for Best Respondent Oralist.

In the international rounds, team members -- Jain, Lucas, and second-year law students Sally Conroy and Robert McDonald -- prevailed over law students from across the United States and Canada

Now in its 31st year, the Niagara Competition is a simulation of oral and written practice before the International Court of Justice. Teams are required to represent the United States and Canada in a hypothetical dispute involving real-world issues in Canadian-American relations. This year’s topic focused on trade law, specifically upon the trade implications of the United States' increased border security in the Global War on Terror.

The year's Washington University Law team won four preliminary matches, arguing twice from Canada's viewpoint and twice from the viewpoint of the United States. Jain and Lucas, arguing as Canada, then defeated a team from John Marshall Law School in the semifinals, and Conroy and McDonald, arguing as the United States, prevailed against the University at Buffalo in the Championship.

Leila Sadat, the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and Director of the law school’s Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute, is the law school’s faculty advisor to the international law moot court teams. Sadat noted, “This is the latest in a long string of successes for our international moot court program, and is a real tribute to the high quality of our program and the dedication and hard work of our students and their coaches.”

Michael Peil, assistant dean for international programs, agreed: “This has been a singular year for international law moots.” Earlier this semester, two third-year law students, Andrew Nash and Samir Kaushik, won the Championship in the 9th Annual D.M. Harish Memorial International Law Moot Court Competition in Mumbai, India. This year marked the first year that a U.S. school competed in the Harish, which has traditionally been limited to British Commonwealth countries. Nash also won Best Oralist in the Harish Moot.

In April, the law school will compete in the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. In March, the team, consisting of third-year law students Ashley Walker and Rebecca Feldmann and second-year law students Jessica Cusick, Erin Griebel, and Shibani Shah, won the Midwest Super-Regional of the Jessup Competition, earning the right to represent the region in the International Rounds against national and regional champions from nearly 100 countries. Cusick also won the Best Oralist award, and Walker placed in the top 10 out of nearly 100 individual students. 

This marks the second straight year that the law school’s Jessup team has advanced to the International Rounds, and the sixth time in 10 years (a record matched only by Harvard). The Jessup is the largest and most prestigious moot in the world.

“This has been a remarkable year for our students,” notes Michael Koby, Director of the Trial & Advocacy Program. “In areas as diverse as U.S. constitutional and administrative law, intellectual property, and international law, our moot court and trial teams have experienced extraordinary success.”