Again this year, Penn State Law fielded a team of students in the Second LL.M. International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court Competition held on March 8 and 9 in Washington, D.C. Hosted by American University Washington College of Law, the competition is specifically created for LL.M. students and focuses on the study of international arbitration for resolving international business and investment disputes.
Penn State Law’s team included LL.M. students Qasim Murad (Pakistan), Antoinette Ofosu-Kwakye (Ghana), and Katharina von Smirnow (Germany), who were coached by Anna Sewell with help from professors Thomas Carbonneau
, William Fox
, and Catherine Rogers
leading up to the competition.
"It was a lot of work and we didn't get a spring break but it was an experience I would not trade," said von Smirnow. "Participating in this competition certainly gave us a great opportunity to enhance our lawyering skills, especially arguing in a second language, and we had the chance to work closely with excellent professors, who prepared us extremely well. It has been an honor for us to represent our law school." Professor Karen Bysiewicz
pointed out that Ofosu-Kwakye won honorable mention for her oral arguments. “We’re very proud of our students for representing Penn State Law so well,” she said.
Most Penn State Law LL.M. students are not eligible to participate in moot competitions because they are already admitted to practice law in jurisdictions outside of the U.S. The LL.M. International Commercial Arbitration Moot gives students arbitration experience in an environment similar to current international commercial arbitration. “Extracurricular learning experiences like the LL.M. Moot provide an excellent opportunity for students to sharpen their legal research and writing skills, a fundamental aspect of our LL.M. program at Penn State,” said Karen Bysiewicz, associate dean for international and graduate studies. “We will continue support participation in this valuable learning experience.”
“Although narrowly defeated in the quarter-final round by the team from Benjamin Cardozo Law School that ultimately won the competition, the Penn State Law team’s time spent preparing and practicing was evident in a tough competition,” said Fox, Distinguished Scholar in Residence. “They did an outstanding job and made me proud to be part of Penn State Law.”
Among others schools fielding teams included: Georgetown, Berkeley, Michigan State and Duke.