Students and faculty gathered in Myron Taylor Hall's Foyer on April 23 to celebrate a successful international moot court season. During 2007-2008, Cornell law students fielded teams in four countries and placed well in international competitions while arguing topics ranging from First Amendment law to international commercial arbitration. Their achievement is especially remarkable because all their efforts, unlike at other law schools, are volunteered time, not part of a class.
In February, the Cornell Law School's Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition team-Montse Ferrer '09, Carter Stewart '09, Jennifer Jude '09, and Hiral Mehta '08-won the Jessup Northeast Super Regional competition in New York City. Lexis Nexis presented the Cornell team with a $500 prize, which they in turn donated to the moot court team from the National University of Lesotho, which helped that team pay its travel expenses to the 2008 International Round competition.
Also in February, another team traveled to the D.M. Harish Memorial International Moot Court Competition, held at the Government Law College in Mumbai, India. Steven Koh '08, Maxim Kogan '08, and Vannina Ettori LL.M.'08, faced and defeated teams from almost every continent before advancing to the championship round.
At the Jessup International Round competition, held in April in Washington, D.C., the Cornell team was successful in the preliminary rounds. Competing with more than 100 teams from around the world, including the Lesotho team they helped, the team advanced to the run-off rounds (comparable to the NCAA's "Sweet 16") ending up ranked number 12. They beat the team from Oxford University before falling to Belgium's Catholic University of Leuven.
Cornell Law School international moot court competitors earned other honors through the year, with the able assistance of many Law School faculty and administrators, especially Thomas Mills and Lorraine Brennan. Professor Brennan advised the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria. At that competition the team won honorable mention for their "Memorandum for the Claimant." At the Fasken Martineau First Year International Law Moot Competition in Toronto, Canada, Aditya Nagarajan '10 was selected as a distinguished oralist. The team representing Cornell Law School at George Washington National Religious Freedom Moot Court in Washington, DC was a semi-finalist. The team attending the Judge John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition in New Orleans, LA was named "Best New Team."
Cornell Law School also sent teams to the Stetson International Environmental Moot Court Competition, the Niagara International Moot Court competition, the National First Amendment Moot Court Competition, the Jerome Prince Memorial Evidence Moot Court Competition, and the Duberstein Bankruptcy Moot Court Competition. While the teams did not win at these competitions, all provided great learning opportunities and advocacy practice for the law students, as well as important networking with other soon-to-be lawyers in the international arena.
"We've really distinguished ourselves among our peers this year," said Quinton D. Lucas, '09, Moot Court Chancellor. "These students who are in these competitions work so hard and are still smiling in the classroom on Monday morning! The faculty, the dean's offices, and the support staff help make us shine."