What We Do

We represent Columbia Law School at the annual Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, one of the most prestigious law school moot court competitions in the world and dubbed the “Olympics” of international commercial arbitration. The competition attracts over 300 law schools from around the world. The Vis Moot is based on a hypothetical private contractual dispute in international trade. It involves the submission of two written memos and an oral competition held in March in Vienna, Austria. Columbia Law School has a long tradition of sending a team to Vienna and is one of only four schools to have competed every year since the Moot’s founding. The preparation for the written memos begins in the fall. In spring, the team participates in a number of pre-moots held at law schools and law firms in New York. In the past, the Columbia team has also entered pre-moots held in European cities such as Paris, Dusseldorf, Budapest, and The Hague. Columbia has consistently performed well at the Vis Moot, winning the inaugural moot in 1994, the award for best Claimant Memorandum in 2006, and in 2017. In 2018, Columbia’s team received the Pieter Sanders Award for Best Memorandum for Claimant and finished in 3rd place in the oral rounds out of 343 schools, ranking highest among all participating American schools. Over the years, team members have consistently taken home individual speaking and brief awards from the Vienna competition.

How to Join

1L students at Columbia Law School may apply to join the Vis team at the beginning of each school year. There are no course or language pre-requisites. The team will release applications in mid-September and will hold tryouts soon afterwards. Participation in Vis satisfies the moot court component of the Legal Practice Workshop. The Vis team expects 1Ls to stay on as competitors and coaches during the 2L year.

Contact Information

For any questions or additional information, please email columbiavis.request@gmail.com or contact one of the coaches:

·      Yerv Melkonyan: ym2553@columbia.edu

·      Nika Madyoon: nam2176@columbia.edu

·      Zachary Kaplan: zmk2105@columbia.edu

·      Matthew Robinson: Matthew.Robinson@law.columbia.edu