Wake Forest LL.M.s participate in first International Commercial Moot Competition

While most Wake Forest University School of Law students excitedly packed for spring break trips to the beach or home to see their families last week, Liam McClure and Janine Reder made last minute reviews of briefs and arguments.   McClure and Reder, students in WFU’s Master of Laws (LL.M.) in American Law program, were preparing to participate in the LL.M. International Commercial Arbitration Moot Competition in Washington D.C.

The competition was hosted by the Center on International Commercial Arbitration at the Washington College of Law at American University and is the first of its kind.  According to the center’s website, “Since many LL.M. students are admitted to practice law in certain jurisdictions, they are not eligible to compete in most moot competitions.  The LL.M. Moot Competition is designed to give students enrolled in a Master of Laws (LL.M.) program, an opportunity to develop their arbitration skills in an environment which closely resembles current International Commercial Arbitration.”

McClure, who is from the United Kingdom, and Reder, who is from Germany, represented WFU at the competition by arguing a problem in front of a panel of arbitration experts from all over the world, including Brazil, Argentina and the United Kingdom.   McClure and Reder competed against much larger teams of LL.M. students from schools such as Columbia Law School, Duke University School of Law, Fordham School of Law, Georgetown University and University of California- Berkeley School of Law.  

After attending the welcome reception on Thursday, March 8, McClure and Reder participated in the General Rounds on Friday, March 9, where they took part in three rounds and more than six hours of oral arguments against Pepperdine Law School and two separate teams from University of Pennsylvania Law School.   

McClure and Reder tied with Pepperdine in the first trial, defeated the first University of Pennsylvania team in what they call their “best performance,” and succumbed to the second University of Pennsylvania team in the final trial. 

Although they did not proceed to the quarter finals on March 10, the LLMs performed excellently.  After the competition, several judges specifically sought out McClure and Reder to congratulate them and comment on how professionally they represented Wake Forest despite being the smallest team at the competition.  McClure was also awarded a Diploma of Honorable Mention for his performance.

“We had a real blast,” McClure said. “We got to socialize with many of the participants, judges, coaches, and professors from the competition at two parties arranged by Washington College of Law in downtown D.C. clubs.” 

Both he and Reder confirm that the competition was “one of the highlights of our LL.M. program.”  

Before returning to Winston-Salem, McClure and Reder were able to enjoy the first days of their spring break sightseeing in Washington, D.C.   What’s next for these two?  McClure and Reder will spend the rest of their spring break prepping for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) for the New York State Bar Examination.