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, which is one of the most prestigious international moot court competitions.

In addition to arbitration practice, the Vis Team teaches valuable lawyering skills, such as oral advocacy, brief writing, business law and contract law.

Vis Moot Court Membership

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.

Approximate Schedule

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.

Tryouts

Tryouts for Wisconsin Vis will be held each Fall semester. To be eligible, law students must have:

  • Completed their first year of law school
  • Not received a license to practice law or competed in the Vis competition in a previous year

Those who wish to try out for the team must write a collaborative brief with other interested students and prepare an oral argument.

Eight members will be selected to each year’s team based upon the written briefs and the oral arguments. The team will be selected by a panel consisting of current coaches, alums, and professors.

Class

In order to try out for the Wisconsin Vis Moot Team, students must enroll in International Commercial Arbitration. The three-credit graded course is taught in the fall semester, and will prepare students for the tryouts.

Interested students are also encouraged to take Contracts II and/or International Business Transactions.

Memorandum

The memorandum must be written by a team of 2-8 students.

Oral arguments

Each student must prepare an oral argument lasting approximately 7-8 minutes. The oral argument will be based upon the section of the brief that the student wrote for the tryout.

If a student wrote two sections, for example, both merits sections or one merit and one jurisdiction, the student is required to only argue one section during the tryout and the student can select which section he or she will argue.

History

Each year students from law schools across the globe compete in Hong Kong and Vienna, Austria. The competition consists of written submissions on behalf of a claimant and respondent in a realistic hypothetical international business dispute, and oral arguments presented before high-level praticing international lawyers.

The UW Law School's East Asian Legal Studies Center sponsors the UW Vis team, and UW Law School has competed in the Moot since 2006. 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 and to practice in a competitive try-out directed by the current student members of the team during the fall semester with Professor Jason Yackee, Vis Moot's faculty supervisor.

Please contact Vit Moot's faculty supervisor, Professor Yackee, for more information.

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