Columbia Scores Victories in Multiple Moot Court Competitions

Columbia Law School's Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team will be defending its world championship title at the International Tournament at the end of this month.  The team, under the direction of international law professor Lori Damrosch, advanced to the international round after prevailing against New York University Law School in the semi-finals and Fordham Law School in the finals at the Atlantic Regional tournament on March 4.

Columbia can claim three Jessup world championship titles: 1963, 1965, and 2006. Last year's victors finished first among 550 teams from 80 countries.

The team also took home a number of other prizes.  In addition to a second-place team award for best memorials, Tracy Appleton '08 and Matthew Gurgel '09 received fourth and sixth place recognition, respectively, in the best oralist category.  The other team members are  Rebecca Rader Brown '09, Seth Davis '08, Chang Liu '09, and coach Vincent Levy '07.


Regional Moot Court winners (left to right): Rebecca R. Brown '09; Chang Liu '09; Matthew G. Gurgel '09; R. Seth Davis '08; Tracy O. Appleton '08.

The competition is named after Professor Philip C. Jessup, who taught international law at Columbia between postings at the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

Columbia's Frederick Douglass Moot Court Team took home a slew of trophies in this year’s competition. In the northeast regional round, the team won four of the six prizes awarded. Seema Gupta '09 won for best oralist. In the best respondent brief category, Andrew LeGrand '09 and LaRue Robinson '09 were awarded first prize, while Alora Thomas '09 and Erin White '09 took second place, and Melanie Cristol '09 and Lola Ogunmefun '09 placed third. In the national competition, held in Atlanta, Ga., Ms. Thomas and Ms. White faced the eventual first and third place teams and garnered high praise from the judges. Ms. Cristol and Ms. Ogunmefun, who advanced to the national quarterfinals, won the national best respondent brief. The Columbia team also won best respondent brief last year, when Brian Larkin '08 and Ashley Scott '08 took home the prize at both the regional and national levels. This year's team coaches were Amos Blackman '08 and Adiya Dixon '08.


From the Douglass Moot Court team (left to right): Lola Ogunmefun '09, Melanie Cristol '09, and team coach Adiya Dixon'08

Columbia students also won prizes in the Native American Law Students Association Moot Court national competition. Gabe Martinez '08 and Laura Sandoval '08 won best brief, while Shira Kieval placed third in the best individual oralist category.  The coaches were Daron Carreiro '07, Raven Sealy '08, and Nicole Willis '08.