Law students win Jessup super-regional, advance

A team of five students from the School of Law recently traveled to Chicago, where they competed in and won the Midwest Super-Regional of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Twenty-four teams from throughout the Midwest participated in the super-regional. In the preliminary rounds, Washington University faced Chicago-Kent College of Law, Saint Louis University, Michigan State University and Northwestern University. In the quarterfinals, the team defeated Loyola University of Chicago, and in the semifinal, the team beat Wayne State University. In the final round, Washington University defeated DePaul University.

Jessica Cusick, second-year law student, won the award for best individual oralist, and Ashley Walker, third-year law student, placed eighth out of nearly 100 individual competitors.

The Jessup Competition is the world’s largest competition for law students, with more than 600 schools from about 100 countries competing each year. The Midwest Super-Regional is one of six super-regionals in the United States, the first stage of the competition.

Winners from each super-regional advance directly to the final stage. The win in Chicago means that the WUSTL team ranks among the top six U.S. teams of more than 140 teams competing in the United States.

This year’s Jessup competition was based upon a hypothetical dispute involving detention, extraordinary rendition and treatment of suspected terrorists.

WUSTL’s team advances to the Shearman & Sterling International Rounds of the Jessup competition in Washington, D.C. The International Rounds are the championship stage of the competition and will pit the law school team against about 100 regional and national champions from around the world.

This marks the second consecutive year that the University has advanced to the International Rounds.

The school has advanced to the International Rounds six of the past 10 years; it and Harvard Law School are the only two U.S. schools to share this distinction. Last year, WUSTL won the Regional Competition and placed third at the International Rounds, winning the Alona M. Evans Award for best written submissions.

The Jessup team consists of third-year law students Walker and Rebecca Feldmann and second-year law students Cusick, Erin Griebel and Shibani Shah.

The team is co-coached by adjunct professor Gilbert Sison, J.D. ’00, an associate at the St. Louis firm of Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers & Glass P.C. and an alumnus of the Jessup team; and Leila N. Sadat, J.D., the Henry H. Oberschelp Professor of Law and director of the Whitney R. Harris World Law Institute.