Wayne Law Jessup team among top 50 in the world


Wayne Law's 2020-21 Jessup team showing off their Detroit and Michigan pride.

Wayne State University Law School’s team finished in the top 50 teams in the world and took home numerous honors after virtually competing in the Global Rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

Wayne Law competitors were:

• Third-year students Jackson Buday, Erin Gianopoulos and Zoe? Grenfell

• Second-year students Tess Haadsma and Jacob Stropes

Gianopoulos served as chancellor for the team. Professor Gregory H. Fox, director of Wayne Law's Program for International Legal Studies, was the team's faculty advisor.

The Global Rounds of the competition began with 550 teams from 90 countries. Wayne Law won each of the four preliminary rounds and finished 20th in the world before moving on to the advanced rounds of 168 teams. Wayne Law’s success continued, becoming one of 48 teams to advance to the elimination rounds. Only six law schools from the United States made it to this stage.

The team received a range of awards during the Global Rounds:

• Haadsma - Third Best Oralist (preliminary rounds)

• Buday - 23rd Best Oralist (tied) (preliminary rounds)

• Grenfell - Seventh Best Oralist in the world (advanced rounds)

• Respondent team of Grenfell and Stropes - Placed 15th in the world (advanced rounds)

“I am so immensely proud of this hardworking and talented team,” said Fox. “They worked tirelessly from August through April to master an entirely new legal system and set of research methods.”

The team qualified for the Global Rounds after competing in the U.S. Round 1 of the Jessup Competition in February, where all four oralists placed in the Top 20 Oralists and the team earned a second place Memorial Award.

Wayne Law’s team was supported by a network of Jessup alumni who judged practice rounds and prepared the team for its success on the global stage.

The Jessup Competition is the world’s oldest and largest moot court competition. Competitors receive a problem each fall that simulates a case before the International Court of Justice (World Court) between two countries. 

This year’s Jessup problem concerned a global pandemic that lead to border closures, the arrest of a dissident scientist who alleged that proper safety precautions were not being taken in a government lab, the shooting down of a civilian airliner thought to be piloted by terrorists, and whether asylum claims can be made in a country’s foreign consulate.

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