Cornell Law Students Flex Their Skills at Top International Moot Court Competition
In February 2011, a Cornell Law School team competed in the Northeast Super Regional round of the Phillip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The Jessup Competition is the world's premier international law moot court competition, and typically draws teams from nearly 100 different countries. This year's problem included legal issues involving predator drones, international anti-bribery conventions, and burqa bans.
Team members Tsz Ting Tam '12, Michael Shaw '12, Christopher Wild '11, and Andrew Orr '12, along with student coach Jennifer Hildebrand '11, spent twelve days of their winter break researching and writing briefs for the competition. The team's preparation for oral argument included additional research and numerous practice sessions. Professor Thomas Mills was the team's faculty advisor, and Professors Ohlin, Ndulo, and Lienau each judged a practice round for the team. Including "brief week," each team member spent roughly 250 hours preparing for the competition.
At the regional competition in New York City, the team went undefeated during the preliminary rounds and was seeded first overall going into the elimination rounds. After beating Yale in the quarterfinals, the team lost in the semi-finals to Columbia, the eventual national champion and international runner-up. In a regional field of twenty-five teams, Cornell won best overall brief, and out of over 100 competitors, Michael Shaw and Andrew Orr received the awards for second and sixth best oralist respectively.