Moot Court students compete in VIS international competition in Vienna.
This April, a group of Brandeis School of Law students, led by Professor Sara Ochs, traveled to Vienna to participate in the 30th Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The group traveled to Austria for the start of the competition on March 30th. The team participated in four rounds and placed 165 of the 372 competing teams.
Brianna Berry (class of 24) was pleased with the experience and their performance. “We were given a lot of positive feedback surrounding our legal and scholarly arguments, our persuasive style, and our overall presentation of our case.” Frank Bencomo (class of ‘23) remarked that the competition was “intense, but it was fun”. After arguments, they would step out of the room with the judges who offered critiques. “I found it useful”, Bencomo continued, “It was good training for being an attorney. While it was a competition, it felt like a training.”
For Bencomo, being there was important. “It meant a lot to me representing Louisville, which is not just my law school but also my hometown, so far away from, getting to meet people from all over the world and ideally put a good face on where I grew up,” Bencomo said. Berry was delighted at the chance to develop her law skills abroad. “I have always had an interest in international relations and law, and studied abroad twice in undergrad, so the idea of getting to go abroad again on behalf of the law school was very exciting,” she said.
An international event like this provides opportunities for comparing experiences, as well as the law. Berry tells us that they “were able to meet and connect with so many different people. The competition hosted several events prior to and during the preliminary rounds of arguments where we were able to compare and contrast our law school experience and exchange information with dozens of students.”
Both recommend the experience. As Bencomo says, “students should take international opportunities as much as possible, and if this becomes an opportunity again, I absolutely recommend it.” He adds “It’s a good way of doing a moot court that’s different. It adds a fresh perspective.”
Established in 1993, the Vis Moot has been held annually in Vienna since 1994 and attracts hundreds of Law Schools from around the world. With 372 teams from law schools and universities representing 89 countries, the Vis Moot is one of the largest international moot competitions of its kind. The aim of the Vis Moot is to foster study in the area of international commercial arbitration and encourage the resolution of business disputes by arbitration.