Law School's Jessup Moot Court Team Competes in International Championship After Sweeping Regionals



Media Contact:  Nancy Goldfarb, 212-854-1584
Public Affairs Office
New York, March 19, 2010 - A team from Columbia Law School is competing in the International Championship round of the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition between March 21st and 27th in Washington. The team took first place last month at the Super-Regional Northeast Round, competing against 23 law schools. The team also took the second-place-overall Memorial Award.
Team members Erik Lindemann ’11, Elisabeth Page ’11, Akshaya Kumar ’12, Kevin Lin ’11, and Jacob Johnston ’11 took home three individual awards. Out of 120 competitors, Lindemann won the fifth-place Oralist Award and Page won tenth place. Kumar won the highest score for a single-round competitor.
The Jessup Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition and the oldest dedicated to international law. More than 500 teams from 80 countries entered this year, developing arguments for both sides of a fictional dispute submitted to the International Court of Justice, the primary court of the United Nations. This year’s question involves sovereignty over land and natural resources, self-determination of peoples, bilateral investment treaties, and expropriations.
Teams submit written memorials for both sides in January and plead as Applicant and Respondent in oral rounds throughout the competition. Columbia Law School is one of 80 teams to advance to the White & Case International Rounds in Washington, which includes preliminary and advanced rounds for the International Championship. 
Lindemann and Page, both veteran Jessup competitors and last year’s national champions, are coaching this year’s team. The teammates undertook a rigorous schedule, including practice moots at federal courthouses and law offices where Jessup alumni are employed, as well as mooting before Law School professors, including Lori Damrosch, Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization, the team’s faculty advisor.
The competition is named after Professor Philip C. Jessup ’24, who taught international law and diplomacy at the Law School from 1925 to 1961. He helped draft the statutes for the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Law Commission, and in 1961 began a nine-year term as a U.S. representative to the ICJ.
Columbia was one of three law schools to compete in the first Jessup competition, held in 1960, and has since claimed three world championships–in 1963, 1965, and 2006. For more information about the tournament, visit the Jessup web site.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.