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Student Excels at International Moot Court

Friday, Jul 15, 2011

by Stephanie Vieira

While most law students spend their third year in the classroom, Amy Wan ‘11 spent her year in the courtroom.  While studying abroad at the London School of Economics (LSE), she received the opportunity of a lifetime when she was chosen to participate in the World Trade Organization (WTO) International Moot Court Competition, and placed 3rd overall in the Final Oral Round of the ELSA WTO Moot Court Competition, competing against the best teams from all over the world.

Amy Wan '11 and teammates Zila Milupi and Ada Siqueira
 From left: Zila Milupi, Ada Siqueira and Amy Wan  
Wan, who studied biological sciences as an undergraduate at USC, was originally accepted into the USC accelerated pharmacy program.  However, after becoming involved in community activism, her interest in the relationship between the public and private sector grew, and law school became an obvious choice to Wan due to the technical training she would receive while also allowing her to pursue her passion.  Because she didn’t get the opportunity to study abroad as an undergraduate, the USC/LSE dual degree program was ideal. 

The moot court case, which Wan was originally drawn to because of its relevance to her undergraduate major, dealt with the tensions between developed and developing nations in the international trade of cloned agricultural goods. 

“This case is very relevant because the European Union recently debated putting forth an import ban on cloned meats—a move that would increase tension with the U.S.” says Wan.

While living abroad is an education in itself, studying at LSE gave Wan the rare opportunity as a student to experience international law in a multicultural setting. 

"The lens through which you look at the law, is very much based on the culture and the practice of the community," says Wan. 

In addition, Wan and her teammates argued both sides of the case throughout the different levels of the competition, which allowed them to explore nuanced perspectives, as well as learn about the varying attitudes about agriculture and the technology among developing and developed countries. 

Aside from the varied perspective, Wan also was exposed to the more obvious and tangible differences between the British and American law systems, including one fact that Wan jokingly added, “The judges in British courts still wear the traditional white horsehair wigs when hearing a case!”

The moot competition, which Wan says was the highlight of her law school experience, was an extremely demanding extra-curricular for Wan and her teammates. 

"In the Fall we met once a week for a couple hours at a time, but closer to competition, there were weeks in which the moot consumed all our time. During the competition, one of my teammates didn't sleep for four days.  It was very intense."

The team, advised by LSE Prof. Andrew Lang, was comprised of three LSE students: Wan, Zila Milupi of Zambia, and Ada Siqueira of Brazil.  Wan, who became extremely close with her teammates says, “I was the logistical teammate, while Zila was the analytical one; and Ada was the social ambassador who ensured that we all had fun in the process.

“I know that the only reason that we made it so far in the competition was because I had the most amazing teammates that anyone could ask for."

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