Pitt Law Students Neil Devlin and David Murren Win First Place Memorial at Regional Jessup Competition

From left to right: Neil Devlin (JD '16), coach Iva Grgić (LL.M. '14), David Murren (JD '16)

Pitt Law made a strong showing at the U.S. Mid-Atlantic Super Regional Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition, with 2Ls Neil Devlin and David Murren receiving the award for First Place Memorial. Considered to be the world’s largest moot court competition, the Jessup is also the oldest moot court competition dedicated to international law.

“We've gained valuable experience in appellate advocacy and in international law,” Devlin said. “It was an honor to represent Pitt Law against top law schools and bring home a win to add to the prestige and respect that the globally known Center for International Legal Education enjoys.”

The regional competition, held this past weekend at George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C., saw 20 university teams submit a total of 40 memorials, the only written document in the competition. Devlin and Murren’s Memorial for the Respondent earned top honors, marking the first time Pitt Law has won first in a regional Jessup category.

Devlin and Murren said guidance and support from their coach, Iva Grgić, LL.M. ’14, and the Pitt Law Center for International Legal Education factored into their win, including support from CILE Director and Professor Ron Brand, assistant Austin Lebo, Professors Haider Ala Hamoudi and Harry Flechtner, and those who judged in the practice rounds.

“We followed a strict schedule since September, working on Jessup every single week and then with even more frequency after winter break. We worked on it over the break too—we took no ‘break’ from Jessup,” Devlin said.

About the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition

At the Jessup, teams of law students compete through oral presentations and written pleadings called “memorials” to address timely issues of public international law in the context of a hypothetical legal dispute between nations (ilsa.org). Teams argue alternately as Applicant and Respondent against competing teams before a panel of judges, simulating a true proceeding before the International Court of Justice.

The Jessup competition is named after Philip C. Jessup, the United States representative to the International Court of Justice, who was elected by the United Nations to serve a nine-year term in 1961. Pitt Law’s long history at the Jessup dates back to 1964 when Pitt Law was runner-up champion of the final round of the competition.