Nine Harvard Law School students recently participated in the 2012 Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competitions in Vienna and Hong Kong. Nearly 400 law school teams from around the world participated in the Vis Competition, which aims to train future leaders in methods of alternative dispute resolution.

In Vienna, HLS placed third in oral arguments out of 285 teams, making it to the semi-final round. The team also received the Pieter Sanders Award for the Best Memorandum for Claimant and received honorable mention for the Respondent’s Memorandum, written by Jessica Moyer ’12, Jessica Beess und Chrostin ’13, Neil Rao ’13 and Michael Springer ’13. Beess und Chrostin and Moyer also received honorable mention for best individual oralists.

The Hong Kong team placed eighth out of 90 teams, making it to the quarter-final round of arguments. HLS won honorable mention for the written Claimant’s Memorandum composed by Tarik Elhussein ’13, Ashley Chung ’12, and Michael Jacobson ’13. The team also had two non-traveling members, Victor Ban ’13 and Kylie Kim ’14 who helped prepare for the event. Elhussein also won honorable mention for best individual oralist.

“I believe the moot is a fantastic way for students to improve their research, writing and oral argument skills and to learn about the field of international commercial arbitration,” stated team co-captain Jessica Moyer. “I can honestly say that no other experience that I have had in law school has been as valuable, and I am incredibly proud of both teams for their accomplishments.”

The Vis Moot Court Competition each year deals with contract issues under the UN Convention on the International Sale of Goods, as well as procedural issues under the rules of different arbitral institutions. This year, the moot court tested the newly amended rules of the China International Economic and Trade Institution Rules (CIETAC Rules).

To prepare for the Vis Moot Court, the two teams worked throughout the year, starting with tryouts in September, a brief research and writing period from October to January, and oral argument preparation from January through March and April. The teams participated in several pre-moot competitions in Washington D.C. (DLA Piper pre-moot) and New York City (The Cravath pre-moot, Fordham Law School pre-moot, ICDR pre-moot and NYU Law School pre-moot).

HLS Lecturer on Law Virginia Wise served as the team’s faculty advisor. Giovanna Micheli of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution and James Hosking, a practicing lawyer in international arbitration at Chaffetz Lindsey LLP coached the team. Mark Stadnyk LL.M. ’11 of Fulbright & Jaworksi served as assistant coach.

More information about the Vis East competition:

More information about the Vis competition: