Georgetown Law Moot Court Team Shines in WTO Law

March 9, 2017

A Georgetown Law moot court team will advance to an international competition in Geneva, thanks to a strong showing at the European Law Students’ Association (ELSA) moot court competition in WTO law, held in Bogota, Colombia, March 1 to 6.

Julia Kuelzow (LL.M.’17), Marcus Gustafsson (LL.M.’17), Alex Severance (L’17) and Aditi Rao (LL.M.’17) finished second to Harvard Law in the All-Americas Regional Round of the competition. The Georgetown Law team also took home awards for the Best Overall Written Submission and Best Written Submission; Gustafsson won Best Oralist in the preliminary rounds.

Visiting Professor Jennifer A. Hillman, who traveled to Colombia to serve as a judge for other participants, said the Georgetown team faced some fierce competition from other U.S. and Canadian law schools. “This is a fantastic achievement for all involved and a wonderful tribute to Georgetown,” Hillman said.

As a Georgetown Law student participating in the moots, Gustafsson said that three things stood out.

“Firstly, you learn an amazing amount about law, and you get to practice your oral speaking and argumentation skills,” he said. “Secondly, we have gotten to know each other and learn to work as a tight team, not to mention going on a trip to Bogota together! Thirdly, we got to know both the top students and professionals in international trade from all over the Americas coming to judge the competition. Overall, a fabulous experience we would recommend to any aspiring trade lawyer.”

Georgetown Law’s Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) supported the students’ participation. Coaches Ada Siqueira (S.J.D.’17), Adjunct Professor David Christy and Joe Loveless (L’17) — a member of last year’s ELSA moot court team — assisted the team in absorbing WTO law, drafting the briefs and preparing for oral argument.

Loveless says that although “the highs and lows of competition” are a bit “more mellow” for him now as a coach, “the desire to win remains.”

“Coaches can make no contact with their teams once a moot begins — so there goes some of the thrill and fear of the competition,” he admits. “[But] instead of being grilled by my coaches, I grill the team. That’s part of the fun.”

And like any coach, Loveless is rewarded by helping others succeed. “It has been a few days now since they last mooted,” he says, “and I still remind them of how well they did.”