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KU law school team advances to international rounds of moot court competition

Mon, 02/25/2013

LAWRENCE — A team of University of Kansas law students earned the opportunity to compete in the international rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition after qualifying recently as finalists at the regional level.

Team members Matthew Agnew, of Wichita; Sam Barton, Stilwell; Lauren Pearce, Lawrence; Jane Li, Foshan City, Guangdong Province, China; and Isabel Segarra, Austin, Texas, placed second out of 19 teams based on their oral arguments and written briefs. Two of the KU students also won individual honors for their oral advocacy skills. Judges deemed Pearce third-best oralist and Barton fifth-best oralist among roughly 75 advocates at the Rocky Mountain Regionals Feb. 15-17 in Denver. The international rounds will take place in early April in Washington, D.C.

The Jessup competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial body of the United Nations. This year’s competition required students to argue both sides of a fictional case involving the consequences of climate change on statehood, migration and sovereign lending. Now in its 54th year, the Jessup is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries.

“Since September, we’ve taught ourselves international finance, human rights law, environmental law, and what it means to be a State,” said Pearce, a third-year law student. “Our commitment and preparation paid off during oral argument. We were ready for everything the judges threw at us.”

Barton expressed pride in the team’s extensive preparation for the competition and gratitude to the KU law faculty members who helped ready him and his teammates for arguments. He joked about his fifth-place oralist finish behind Pearce, who earned her bachelor’s degree at KU.

“As a former Wildcat, I guess it’s only appropriate that I finished just behind an incredibly talented lifelong Jayhawk, and happily so,” said Barton, who went to Kansas State University before law school.

John Head, the Robert W. Wagstaff Distinguished Professor of Law, coaches KU’s Jessup team.

The KU School of Law boasts a history of success in the Jessup competition, advancing to the international rounds five times in the past 25 years. The competition is part of an extensive moot court program at the law school, which includes an in-house competition for second-year students and many opportunities to face off against other law schools in national and international competitions. The KU School of Law’s moot court program ranked 26th in the nation in the University of Houston Law Center’s 2011-12 rankings.



When looking to tackle the issue of obesity in rural America, where should we start? The answer is not what you might think. Empathy, says Christie Befort, an associate professor at KU who has just won a $10 million award from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to investigate solutions to rural obesity. Many physicians are embarrassed talking about weight—especially in a small town where everybody knows each other, Befort says. By providing obesity treatment options in rural primary care, she plans to start a conversation, and maybe a revolution, in rural health care. For more details on Befort's efforts, check out the 2015 Chancellor's Report: http://bit.ly/1D5A5MO and her video: http://bit.ly/1C5xYZa Tags: #KUcommunities #Obesity #Health #Rural #Midwest Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute - PCORI

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Explore KU: Experience a KU Men's Basketball tradition It’s explosive. It’s dramatic. It’s intimidating. It’s a KU tradition (see more at http://bit.ly/KUtraditions) simply known as the Confetti Toss. But it creates a primal eruption of fan enthusiasm at the opening of every KU men’s basketball game at Allen Fieldhouse. It starts as the visiting team is introduced on court. The KU student section is visibly bored and unimpressed. The entire section under the north basket holds up University Daily Kansans — making the point they’d rather read the newspaper than even look at the other team. They shake and rustle the student newspapers. Then the moment they were waiting for arrives — the Jayhawks enter the court. All Rock Chalk breaks loose. Newspapers, confetti and thousands of thundering voices soar into already charged atmosphere of KU’s hallowed basketball arena. The confetti hits its high point, near the banner on the north wall reading “Pay Heed, All Who Enter: Beware of the Phog.” And the confetti rains back into the stands, onto the court and into the memories of all at hand. It’s time to play.


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