Jessup Moot Court team finishes fifth of 23 in recent competition

Published: March 12th, 2012

Category: Awards, News, Students

Jessup places 5th

Competitors, from left, John Terwilleger (2L), Camilla Cohen (2L), Steve McCloskey (2L), Katherine Thomason (2L) and Hanna Edeback (2L) returned from Houston last month with a fifth-place finish out of 23 teams.

By Katherine Mockler (3L)

The University of Florida Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court team finished fifth out of 23 law schools at this year’s U.S. South Super Regional Competition.

The competition team, composed of Camilla Cohen (2L), Hanna Edeback (2L), Steve McCloskey (2L), John Terwilleger (2L) and Katherine Thomason (2L), and coached by team President Christian Packard (3L), Vice President Amy Levenberg (3L), and Secretary Katherine Mockler (3L), traveled Feb. 24-25 for the competition in Houston.

The team received an award for submitting a top-ranked memorial, which demonstrates the team’s excellent writing and research skills, and also gave exceptional performances during oral arguments, which advanced the team to the quarterfinalist round.

This year’s topic concerned the destruction of a historic cultural temple, intervention in a humanitarian crisis and the court’s jurisdiction for forced labor claims. Presenting arguments on often-undeveloped topics in international law before a mock International Court of Justice required significant preparation and practice. Guided by student coaches, team members invested 10 to 15 hours each week practicing, discussing and shaping arguments, while taking their normal full-time class schedule.

“I am proud the Jessup Team continues to finish at the top of a very competitive region,” said Jon Mills, dean emeritus and faculty advisor of the team. “Our team had great leadership and I expect we will continue to excel.”

The team has hardly paused to savor this record-setting victory, as its attention has already turned to next year’s competition.

John Terwilleger, rising president of the Jessup team, said “Jessup is a unique experience that gave us the opportunity to address world issues that we see on the news every day. We are looking forward to building next year’s team and we hope that any 1Ls or 2Ls who are interested in competing next year will come try out.”