Students Take Home Honors at World's Largest Moot Court Contest After Winning U.S. Nationals

New York, May 3, 2012—Columbia Law School students won multiple awards at the White & Case International Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, the third consecutive year Columbia's team advanced to the World Championship Final.

Jennifer Lim ’12 was awarded the prestigious Stephen M. Schwebel Award for Best Oralist in the Championship Round for the second year in a row. This is the first time in Jessup's 53-year history that a speaker has won back-to-back Schwebel awards.

The Columbia team, which brought home the U.S. National Championship for the fourth consecutive year, won the Alona E. Evans Award for the Best Overall Memorial at the International Rounds.

The Jessup Competition is considered the world’s largest and most prestigious moot court competition and the oldest dedicated to international law. It is named after Philip C. Jessup ’24, who taught international law and diplomacy at Columbia from 1925 until 1961. He then served a nine-year term as the United States representative at the International Court of Justice.

This year's competition featured teams from approximately 650 law schools, including 143 law schools from the United States. More than 130 teams from 80 countries qualified for the International Rounds in Washington, D.C., in late March.

Besides Lim, the Columbia team consisted of Benjamin Schrier ’12, Aidan Grano ’13, Evan Ezray ’14, and Jan Messerschmidt ’14. Schrier and Grano won Best Overall Applicant Side, after defeating Ukrainian, German, Canadian, and New Zealand national champions in the elimination rounds. Schrier and Grano also were recognized among Top 10 speakers.

Top row, L-R: Ricardo Chirinos '11 (former team advisor), Jacob Johnston '12 (team advisor), Aidan Grano '13, Jan Messerschmidt '14, Valentin Jeutner (team advisor); bottom row, L-R: Benjamin Schrier '12, Jennifer Lim '12, Evan Ezray '14.

Columbia finished second in the World Championship Final, after competing against undefeated Moscow State University. Lim and Ezray argued as respondents before a distinguished panel of three judges of the International Court of Justice - former President Hisashi Owada of Japan, Judge Sir Kenneth Keith of New Zealand, and Judge Joan Donoghue of the United States. The judges deliberated for more than an hour before ruling in favor of Moscow State.

The team was coached by Jacob Johnston '12. The team’s faculty coach, Lori Damrosch, the Henry L. Moses Professor of Law and International Organization and Hamilton Fish Professor of Law and International Diplomacy, and faculty advisor, Larry Johnson, adjunct professor of Law, provided guidance and support as the team prepared for the international rounds. The team also benefited from the assistance of students, alumni, and friends, including Daniela Blank '12 LL.M, Ricardo Chirinos '11 LL.M, Elisabeth Page '11, Suyash Paliwal '10, Viren Mascarenhas '05, and Valentin Jeutner.

The Moot Court Program at Columbia Law School is made possible by a generous contribution from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.