The Catholic University of America

Vis Team Members, past and present. Back Row: Jordan Dansby, Ray Pinkham, Peter Glaws, Helene Gogadze, Sarah Wyss, Malou Huth, Raeka Safai and Jennifer Hill-Wilson. Front Row: Trevor Harley, Chelsea Severson, Marko Cimbaljevich and Susan Lehman.

With New Faces and Old, CUA's Vis Moot Court Team Sticks Together

Only a small number of the more than 10,000 graduates of the Columbus School of Law have shared the unforgettable experience of facing off with hundreds of talented moot court teams from law schools all over the world, to compete in exotic locales such as Vienna and Hong Kong.

It is a memory that binds people together. That was evident on Sept. 18, when current and former members of the Columbus School of Law's Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team gathered for a student-alumni mixer at the Rosslyn, Va. home of Chelsea Severson, one of the co-captains of the 2009-10 Vis team.

The group came together as this year's Vis team begins preparing for its fifth year of competition, to take place in Vienna, Austria next spring. Alumni including some founding team members showed up to offer current students advice, support and new friendships.

Each spring, the team travels to either Vienna or Hong Kong to compete in an international moot arbitration competition against other law students from around the world. The competition includes both writing and oral argument phases, and tests student skills in handling an international sales contract dispute. Last year in Hong Kong, CUA's team finished in the top ten against a field of 65 teams. This year's team will compete in Vienna against as many as 250 law schools.

The team's success is due in large part to its loyal alumni.

"They help students in every aspect of preparation for the competition. They donate their time to fundraising, arranging travel, critiquing briefs, and arbitrating oral argument practice," said Severson. Events such as the recent mixer help alumni get to know current team members and reconnect with one another, strengthening the Vis team's close-knit support network.

Depending on the success of this year's fund raising efforts, the Vis moot court team may split in half, with CUA students competing in both the Vienna and Hong Kong competitions for the first time.

This year's team includes new members Jordan Dansby, Luigi De Guzman, Valerie Edwards, Peter Glaws, Adam Malizio and Ray Pinkham. Renée-Lauren Ellis and Chelsea Severson return as co-captains. Helene Gogadze and professors Antonio Perez and Harris Weinstein return as coaches.

Alumni in attendance included Marko Cimbaljevich, Helene Gogagdze, Jennifer Hill-Wilson, Malou Huth, Susan Lehman, Raeka Safai and Sarah Wyss.