AUWCL Places First at Regional Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

February 18, 2019

2Ls Erin Downey and Dimitar Georgiev, and 3Ls Hannah Stambaugh, Kate Youssouf, and Medea Jones.

For the second consecutive year, American University Washington College of Law has won first place in the Mid-Atlantic regional round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, held Feb. 14-17 at AUWCL.

AUWCL’s Moot Court Honor Society team consists of 2Ls Erin Downey and Dimitar Georgiev, and 3Ls Hannah Stambaugh, Kate Youssouf, and Medea Jones. The team is coached by Adjunct Professor Catherine Newcombe.

“It has been a privilege to coach such dedicated and intelligent students," Newcombe said. "I look forward to seeing them demonstrate their superb advocacy skills at the international rounds and, more importantly, take their Jessup experience beyond graduation to address the increasingly transnational nature of legal issues and key challenges surrounding the rule of law and fundamental rights.”

This is the first year that AUWCL has hosted a regional round of the Jessup Competition, which was organized by AUWCL's Trial Advocacy Program. Jessup is the world's largest moot court competition with participants from over 680 law schools in 100 countries and jurisdictions. The competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice.

Out of the 10 best oralist awards given during the four-day event, AUWCL received three: Youssouf placed seventh, Downey placed sixth, and Stambaugh placed second.

On Sunday, the team defeated the University of Virginia in the semifinals to advance to the White & Case International Rounds of the competition, taking place March 31 through April 6.

This will be the second time team co-captains Youssouf and Stambaugh will compete at internationals.

“Competing in the Jessup has been my favorite part of law school by a long shot and has set the foundation for my career as an advocate,” Stambaugh said. “I am so honored to be part of the team representing WCL at internationals for a second year. It’s amazing to be a part of a group of future advocates in international law from all over the world coming together to argue about pressing issues facing the international community. It’s a real exercise in diplomacy.”

Youssouf called her involvement with the Jessup competition “the most rewarding and exhilarating experience” she has had at AUWCL.

“The competition is an incredibly worthwhile opportunity for students to improve their written and oral advocacy skills by diving deeply into current and complex issues of public international law. It also exposes students to areas of international law that they might not have studied before,” she said. “I am so proud of the months of hard work this team has put into getting where we are, and I am thrilled to get the opportunity to compete at internationals again.”