International Competitions Prepare Students for Legal Careers

Students tested their oral and written skills arguing before faculty scholars and a DC Bar arbitration expert in GW Law’s recent international competitions. 

The final round of the Pamela Spanogle International Arbitration Competition was held in March. The student participants, all 2L’s, presented well examined arguments resulting in a close final decision. The tribunal of Professor John Andrew Spanogle, Professor Gregory Maggs, and the chair of the DC Bar International Dispute Resolution Committee Mark Kantor decided the outcome.

Priyam Bhargava and Anika Patterson, who represented the claimant, were selecting as the winning team of the Spanogle Competition. The runner-up team, arguing on the respondent side, was Elizabeth Dalmut and Jacqueline Powers.  

This week, 3L students performed in the Grenadier International Moot Court competition. International law experts, Associate Dean Susan Karamanian, Professor Dinah Shelton, and Professor Edward Swaine served on the judging panel. Dean Karamanian said, “The Grenadier competition allows students to explore a variety of complex international legal issues relating to a fictional dispute between two states before the International Court of Justice.” 

Students David Fox and Harsh Voruganti won the Grenadier Competition. According to Dean Karamanian, this year’s problem examined the issue of State succession arising out of a military coup d'état and the use of force by a regional organization to quell a civil war. Trent Buatte and Tara Umbrino comprised the runner-up team. 

“The value of the competition reaches well beyond preparing students to work in international law.  Students test their oral and written advocacy skills, an exercise that benefits them in preparing to work in nearly any aspect of the profession,” Dean Karamanian said.   

An impressive foundation has been set in recent years for international competitions. The GW Law team won the 2011 Gujarat National Law University International Moot Court Competition in India, and was selected Best Oralist. The win marked the second consecutive year in which GW Law won and received the Best Oralist award. The GW Law team also won the 2011 KK Luthra Memorial Moot Court Competition held at the University of Delhi, India, and was awarded Best Brief. 

This year’s student teams demonstrated thorough preparation, strong performances, and gained valuable feedback on written and oral advocacy from the faculty judges, which serves as important training for their legal careers.

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