I just returned from spending my spring break in Hong Kong. The purpose of my trip, I informed U.S. custom officials when I arrived into JFK, was not simply “pleasure.” Indeed, it was mostly “business” as evident by my formal business attire each day.
I traveled with NYU’s international arbitration team to participate in a global competition called the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. The Vis Moot takes place every year in both Vienna and Hong Kong. This year, 70 law schools from around the world competed in Hong Kong.
The competition is based on a complex hypothetical case involving an international commercial dispute. This year the case involved a contract for the sale of steel water pipes to be used in an irrigation project, but two unforeseen events—the closing of a major shipping route and changes in government regulations—caused the two parties to be in conflict.
Since October, our 10-member team, guided by 2 coaches, 2 assistant coaches, and Professor Franco Ferrari, had been consumed in the factual and legal analysis of this case. We researched the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods, foreign case law, and other scholarly texts to create arguments for both sides. Assuming the role of “international arbitration lawyers,” we got to plead our case in Hong Kong to the tribunal.
Our efforts paid off. I’m greatly pleased to say that we won 3rd Place for Claimant’s Memorandum!
It has truly been a privilege to be a member of NYU’s Vis Moot team this year—and I say that not just because I had to opportunity to travel to Hong Kong! If you’re interested in international arbitration, or if you just love analysis, argument, traveling, and meeting new people, it is an unforgettable experience.