Students Prep for International Moot Court

Four pre-law students will spend part of the holidays preparing for the first step in their careers.

Jesse Calderon, Olivia Llanes, Neal Parekh and Verica Todorovic – all political science majors – are busy working on a 30-page legal brief for an international case they will argue in moot court in Vienna, Austria, next spring. It’s one of two legal documents the group is drafting for the mock trial, said Dr. Joseph Ignagni, Professor of Political Science and the group’s adviser.

“They were sent an extensive case,” Ignagni said, “and they will have to argue both sides. The students had to prepare a 30-page brief for their argument, then send it to another [moot court] team across the world. In January, our team will draft another 30-page brief for the opposite argument.”

Writing and research is just part of the preparation for the UT Arlington students attending the Vis Arbitrational Moot hosted by Vienna University held March 28-April 7, 2012. The group is also busy trying to raise $12,000 for trip expenses.

“These students will get experience in arguing a case in front of judges,” said Ignagni. “It’s a nice opportunity to experience the pressure of preparing for a case and dealing with lawyers or judges who grill them pretty intensely.”

In moot court competition, teams of college students research and argue cases through mock trials. Groups from UT Arlington have participated in numerous events throughout the state at various law schools like Texas Tech and Baylor universities, Ignagni said.

This year’s group wanted to repeat the experience of the 2006 team and return to Vienna. Ignagni said the team will be reviewing international law as well as facing others from many different countries – teams mostly made up of law students. It’s a twist that sets the 19-year-old Vienna contest apart.

“Normally moot competition is for graduate students,” he said, “so this will be quite a challenge.”

Questions or donations for UT Arlington’s Moot Court Club should be directed to Ignagni (ignagni@uta.edu) or Llanes (Olivia.llanes@mavs.uta.edu).

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