Wisconsin Vis Moot Court fosters the study of international commercial law and arbitration for resolution of international business disputes. The team recruits, trains and sends competitors to the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna, Austria. In addition to arbitration practice, the Vis Team teaches valuable lawyering skills, such as oral advocacy, brief writing, business law and contract law.
Since 1994, the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot has been one of the most prestigious international moot court competitions. The competition includes more than 300 law schools worldwide.
The competition problem is based on an international sale transaction, which requires competitors to apply the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG), along with procedural issues of arbitration. The problem is released the first Friday of October. Students review the problem in class with the Vis Moot faculty supervisor, before preparing the claimant’s memorandum. The team is selected after Thanksgiving. The claimant’s memorandum is due in the beginning of December and the respondent’s memorandum is due towards the end of January. The team will practice for the oral hearings during the spring semester. This includes participating in pre-moots in Chicago and scrimmages against other law school Vis teams. The whole experience culminates at the Vienna or Hong Kong competition. Each team will travel to the competition and spend a week competing against schools from all over.
The team was formally established in 2007 after two years of successful student participation in the Vis Moots. Alumna Chiann Bao initiated UW Law's participation and served as coach for a small group of individuals competing at the Vis Moot in Vienna, Austria. The program, which has sent teams to Vienna and Hong Kong, now includes the mandatory International Commercial Arbitration class during the fall semester with Professor Jason Yackee, Vis Moot's faculty supervisor.