Members of the NYU Law Moot Court Board achieved the runner-up position this past weekend in the Northeast Super Regional Round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition and will advance to the White and Case International Rounds in Washington, D.C., later this semester. This is the first time an NYU Jessup team has advanced to the International Rounds since 2002.

The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from over 500 law schools in more than 80 countries. A total of 12 teams from the United States, the top two teams from each of the U.S.’s six regional competitions, advance. The Northeast Super Regional Round has long been considered the most competitive regional round in the world because of the presence of Jessup powerhouses Columbia, Boston College, Harvard, and Cornell. The competition simulates a dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams prepare oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.

This year’s team members include Matthew Lafargue ’10, Andrew Michaels ’10, Joe Russo ’11, Matthew Walker ’10, and Julian Arato ’11. The team is coached by Brian Abrams ’10 and Sandeep Challa (LL.M. ’10). The team won all four preliminary rounds, as well as the quarter-final and semi-final rounds. They will advance, along with first-place winner Columbia Law School, to the International Rounds later this spring. Additionally, Russo was awarded Best Oralist and was one of only a few oralists to receive a perfect score from a judge. Lafargue, last year’s Orison S. Marden Competition winner, was one of the top 15 oralists in the competition. Finally, the team was awarded fourth for its memorial (the International Court of Justice equivalent of a legal brief to the court).

Casey Donnelly, chair of NYU Law’s Moot Court Board, said, “I couldn’t be more proud. This victory shows that the Jessup judges recognized that the NYU team includes some of the most talented moot court advocates in the country right now.” Vincent Barredo, competitions editor, added, “Each one of the Jessup team’s members and coaches were chosen through a rigorous selection process, and it’s amazing how these individuals have bonded as a team. Every member not only works on their own issue, but takes extra steps to ensure the success of the team as a whole. I think that work ethic shows in the results.”

Posted on February 17, 2010