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Students Launch EU Moot Court Team

they win spot in madrid competition

While working at New York University’s Center for European Studies before coming to law school, Carolyn Bella Kim ’05 participated in several initiatives by the European Union to make foreign countries more aware of the EU and its development. One such event was the EU Law Moot Court Competition.

“I always thought participating in that competition would be a great opportunity and a lot of fun,” Kim says. “And later, after competing in the Grimes Moot Court Competition at BC, I figured why not pitch participating in the EU Moot Competition to the BC Law School administration?”

Charity Clark ’05 was also interested in EU law and had competed in Grimes. Together, the students drafted a proposal to participate in the EU Law Moot Court Competition for 2004–2005. The Law School approved entry on a pilot basis.

The competition was divided into several stages. The first required submission of written briefs, with synopses of the arguments in French; the second stage involved oral arguments at one of the regional rounds held in Istanbul, Madrid, Goteburg, and New York; and the last stage was the All European final round. The year’s problem involved a complicated state-aid measure that a private company challenged as violating certain Articles of the EC Treaty.

Last fall, Kim and Clark formed a team with Robert M. McGill ’05 and Christina Zemina ’05 and prepared a brief. Ninety-two teams from throughout the world, only seven of which were American, submitted briefs; forty-eight would be invited to a regional final. The BC Law team made the cut and participated in the regional final in February in Madrid, the only American team to do so.

An intensive period of preparation began. Practice arguments took place with Professors George Brown, Tom Carey, Frank Garcia, Zygmund Plater, Ileana Porras, and other volunteers. Joe Mueller ’00, an associate at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr who helped coach the Jessup moot court team, offered to travel to Madrid as the team’s coach.

The hard work paid off, as the team made a strong showing, although the students did not advance.

The significance of the experience, however, transcended the opportunities to hone advocacy skills, according to Kim.

The competition’s roundtable and networking events enabled the students to see firsthand how cultural disparities affected the professional rapport between colleagues and their superiors, among the Europeans, and between the Europeans and the Americans, she says. “The value of this experience was compounded by the unique opportunity it afforded BC Law students. They not only got the chance to represent BC and BC Law, but also to serve as ambassadors for the United States.”

-Nate Kenyon


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