04.24.2017

UM Law students ranked third in the Vis

Five UM law students participated in the International Arbitration Competition, tying with Columbia University for third place

For the seventh consecutive year, a team of UM Law students participated in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot, better known as the Vis. Out of 340 participating universities from around the world, this year the UM students qualified in the semifinals and tied in third place with Columbia University. UM is the only Latin American university to have progressed past the quarterfinals in 6 out of 7 participations in this competition. UM has previously qualified in finals and semifinals of the competition.

Professor Mercedes Jiménez de Aréchaga, main coach for the team, explained that these competitions help students develop juridical skills which will allow them to have a successful career both in Uruguay and around the world. Previous members of the UM team have worked in London, Paris, Frankfurt, New York, Washington D.C., Shanghai, and Santiago de Chile, amongst others.

Pilar Álvarez was awarded a mention as speaker in the competition. She decided to participate because “it offers a unique opportunity to come into contact with law students, professors, and professionals from all over the world in an environment of academic and cultural exchange.” To be a speaker in this competition is a constant challenge because one has to anticipate the questions and think about the answers beforehand. “Keeping in mind that the competition is in English and all of us that competed are also working, it makes us extremely proud that after so much effort, teamwork, and support, we […] gave a really amazing match!”

Álvarez is studying as part of her degree at the UM a Juridical English course and courses related to dispute resolutions and arbitrations. The tmembers of the team were coached by their professors as well as the American coach Professor Petra Butler, a specialist in the international sale of goods that has helped the team prepare their oral arguments. “In the end, many months of work and dedication paid off!”