Penn State Law Jessup moot court team earns honors at regional competition

February 22, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State Law’s Jessup moot court team brought home a few team and individual honors from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, held Feb. 11-14 at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C.

The team — made up of Thomas Brier, Jacob Green, Morgan Randle and Philip Reinhart, and coached by Chloe Thatcher and Benjamin Colburn — tied Georgetown University for the second-best brief in the competition, out of the 19 law schools that participated. Individual honors were also bestowed on Reinhart and Brier, who were named the fifth- and sixth-best oral advocates, respectively, out of the nearly 80 law students in the competition.

The team placed seventh overall and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Mid-Atlantic Regional after going 2-2 in the preliminary round, beating Johns Hopkins University and Saint Louis University and losing to the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Virginia, which ultimately placed first and second, respectively.

Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition, with participants from more than 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The competition simulates a dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, and each participating team prepares oral and written pleadings arguing both the applicant and respondent positions of the case. This year’s case centered on questions about the legality of mass surveillance programs and the legal consequences of state-supported cyberattacks.

Penn State Law’s team began preparing for the competition in September, when Jessup released the case. Team members spent the fall researching the complex international legal issues involved in the case, with general guidance from Penn State Law professors Larry Catá BackerBeth FarmerKit KinportsTiyanjana Maluwa, and Philip Sechler, as well as Dean Russell Shaffer. The team drafted its briefs over the law school’s winter break and spent the weeks leading up to the competition fine-tuning its oral arguments.

This is the second year in a row that Penn State has advanced to the regional quarterfinals.

Last Updated February 22, 2016