Jessup International Trial Team Places at Regional Competition

UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law's Jessup International Trial Team competed in the 2023 Jessup Regionals competition in Denver, Colorado.
UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law's Jessup International Trial Team competed in the 2023 Jessup Regionals competition in Denver, Colorado.

The UA Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law’s Jessup International Trial Team won the First Place Memorial Award at the Jessup Regionals competition hosted by the University of Denver Sturm College of Law Feb. 25.

The student team includes Caleb Scott, Jennifer Henderson, Hunter Smithburg, and Clay Ellis. Ellis, who has been on the team since 2021, also won the 7th Best Oralist Award.

“I was humbled to be recognized, and I could not have done it without the help of my teammates,” Ellis said.

Moot court gives law students the opportunity to research and litigate hypothetical problems, compete against other law students, and receive feedback from peers and faculty.

The Bowen School of Law’s international trial team is coached by Rebecca Feldmann, assistant professor of clinical education. The final argument, which the team submitted to Jessup on Jan. 17, was nearly 90 pages long and took four months to complete.

“There was a lot of reading, revising, and rereading involved for the final product,” Scott said. “Professor Feldmann gave us really good feedback the whole time. Thankfully, we were taught heavy revision in the class, so that’s just what we know.”

The Jessup competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between three countries before the International Court of Justice. Teams prepare oral and written arguments for both the applicant and respondent positions of the case.Feldmann started the Jessup team during the 2021-2022 academic year. It is Ellis and Smithburg’s second year on the team, and Scott and Henderson’s first.

“Their dedication, collaboration, and willingness to learn a challenging area of law and put the work in to create such a solid product was great to see,” Feldmann said. “It was a real thrill to be able to coach this team.”

Jessup International Moot Court is organized by the International Law Students Association (ILSA), a non-profit association that provides students with various opportunities to study, research, and network in the international legal arena.

Jessup is the largest moot court competition in the world, with participants from over 700 law schools in 100 countries and jurisdictions competing in the regional rounds.

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