The Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition is the world’s largest moot court competition, with participants from over 550 law schools in more than 80 countries. The Competition is a simulation of a fictional dispute between countries before the International Court of Justice, the judicial organ of the United Nations. Thousands of law students from around the world work all year long on the season’s Jessup Problem that focuses on the procedural and substantive issues arising from unresolved issues in international law. Past issues include: the legality of the use of weaponized drones, annexation of one state’s territory by another, bilateral investment treaties, the destruction of cultural heritage sites, modern day piracy, and torture. Teams prepare written briefs and then compete in oral arguments. U.S. teams must place 1st or 2nd at the U.S. Super Regional rounds in February or March, competing against 23 other teams, in order to secure a spot at the international rounds in April. The international rounds are held in Washington D.C., where over 100 finalist teams from around the world will compete for the Jessup trophy. The competition’s judges are composed of the most eminent international legal scholars and practitioners in the world, including current and former judges from the International Court of Justice. More info:

The University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law’s Jessup Team regularly advances to the international rounds in Washington D.C. and both our written briefs and oralists receive awards annually. In 2013 one of our oralists ranked 4th place at the international rounds, out of nearly 500 competitors. The team is coached and taught by Megan Matthews and John Powell serves as Coach Emeritus. Team members can earn 5 credits a year for team participation and upper level writing requirement fulfillment. Try-outs are in April. For questions about the team or try-out information, email Megan Matthews at:

Jessup team 2nd place


Spring 2015. Our Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Team competed at the Pacific Regional competition in Portland, Oregon. Defeating Hastings, the reigning five-year champion, our squad advanced to the Championship Round. For the 3rd consecutive year our team will be advancing to the international rounds (“Worlds”) in Washington D.C. Teammate Matt Thornton placed in the Top 7 Oralists. The team, pictured below, is comprised of J. Matt Thornton, Alex Jennings, Maral Shoaei, and Philip Nickerson. Coached by Megan Matthews, who is assisted by Molly McNab, and Coach Emeritus, John Powell.

costume ball
DU Jessup Team at “Go Nationals” costume ball as Yacht Clubbers, at International Rounds, Washington D.C. 20134

regionals 2nd place
DU Jessup Team at Super Regional competition, Portland, Oregon, 2nd Place, Runner-up Award, 2014

DC team
DU Jessup Team at International Rounds, Washington D.C. 2013

Jessup Grease
DU Jessup Team at “Go Nationals” costume ball as Grease, at International Rounds, Washington D.C. 2013

Victoria Kelley
Victoria Kelley 4th Place Oralist Award, International Rounds, Washington D.C. 2013

Brianna Evans
Brianna Evans 1st Place Oralist award at Super Regional competition, 2013