Each year, Pace Law School – in conjunction with the University of Vienna – hosts the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in which students address a hypothetical business transaction which had gone wrong, and which parties to the dispute are trying to resolve through arbitration. Over 250 law schools from around the world participate in this competition.
For the team from New York Law School, the Vis competition is a year-long project-based learning course (two credits per semester) taught and coached by Prof. Lloyd Bonfield (who is Director of the Center for International Law), and which is graded on a pass/fail basis. (There is a possibility to receive a “Pass with Distinction.”) For general information on project-based learning courses, click here.
To participate in the Vis competition, a student must enroll through the Registrar’s office during the spring semester in the months preceding the start of the coming fall semester. For example, a student who wants to join the Vis team starting in August 2014 must register for the Vis course during the course registration period in Spring 2014.
The course prepares the team for the Vis competition. Students must submit a brief in December 2014, a reply brief in January 2015, and then participate in the moot in Vienna, Austria, from March 27, 2015 – April 2, 2015. (Not all students will attend the moot in Vienna.) Students are assigned issues that emerge from the problem. Although each student is responsible for producing a part of the brief, research is collaborative. Each student critiques the sections produced by other team members. Likewise, students will also critique each other’s oral presentation before the actual competition.
The Center for International Law has already chosen its 2014-15 Vis team.