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Jessup moot court team wins regional tournament, heads to international round in D.C.

February 4, 2013

Wayne State University Law School’s five-member team reigned triumphant in a Feb. 3 regional tournament of the world’s largest international moot court competition, beating out 24 other teams in Chicago.

Wayne Law has a long tradition of success in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court competition, where students represent countries in a fictional case before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Teams from more than 500 law schools in more than 80 countries participate. American teams qualify for the international round by participating in regional tournaments.

Team members work intensively throughout the year, learning substantive international law and research methods that prepare them for future careers.

“Initially, preparations began last spring, and we’ve worked every weekend night, holiday break or day off since,” said student Rachel Hom, chancellor of the winning Wayne Law team.

Wayne Law’s Jessup teams consistently have done very well in the Midwest region in which they compete, but this is the first time in at least 10 years that the team has come out on top of the Midwest regional contest. The students — Kaitlyn Cramer, Jessica Wayne, Bonsitu Kitaba, Klaudia Nikolli and Hom — will go on to the international round of the tournament in Washington, D.C., in late March.

Cramer won the best speaker award at the Feb. 3 regional competition, the Wayne Law team’s brief shared a spot in a three-way tie for third, and Nikolli tied for fifth-place speaker.

“I am so proud of this incredibly talented group of students,” said Professor Gregory Fox, faculty advisor to the team and director of the Program for International Legal Studies at Wayne Law.  “They have mastered some very difficult international law issues and developed advocacy skills they will use throughout the rest of their careers.  We’re very excited about their prospects at the international round in Washington.”

Wayne Law Professor Brad Roth, who focuses on international law, served the team as practice judge and as its on-scene coach in Chicago.

“I am just so proud of everyone, and thankful to have had such dedicated team members along with the incredibly supportive faculty who have been instrumental in our preparations,” Hom said. “We went up against some incredibly talented and well-known teams very early on in the competition. “

 Photo caption: Wayne Law’s Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court team members — Jessica Wayne (left); Rachel Hom, chancellor of the team; Bonsitu Kitaba, Kaitlyn Cramer and Klaudia Nikolli — share a photo with Professor Brad Roth, a coach for the team, after their big win in Chicago.