International Moot Court Team Finds Success in Spanish-Only Competition in Peru; Student Named Best Oralist

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Belkenia Candelario, Kristy Alvarez, Kevin Correa & Stephanie Mazza

Kristy Alvarez & Kevin CorreaMiami Law’s International Moot Court Program sent a team of four students to Lima, Peru last week where they participated in an international commercial arbitration moot competition -- Competencia Internacional de Arbitraje – held at the Universidad Pontificia Catolica del Peru. Third year law student, Kristy Alvarez, was named “Best Oralist” and 3L Kevin Correa placed 10th out of 200 students, most of whom were native Spanish speakers.

Fifty-three law schools -- three from the United States, forty-nine from Latin America and one team from France-- participated in the moot competition, which was held entirely in Spanish. Miami Law’s team consisted of Alvarez, Correa, Belkenia Candelario, 3L, Stephanie Mazza, 3L, and was coached by practicing attorney Quinn Smith and Paula Arias, Director of the International Moot Court Program.

“The students were incredible, they worked really hard during the year, learning not only the law but perfecting the language,” said Arias. “They went from barely understanding the readings or articulating proper legal arguments in Spanish to expressing perfect ideas and persuasive arguments in front of the judges from all over Latin America. I am super proud of them.”

The team began preparing for this competition last year, covering basic notions of international commercial transactions, international contracts, international arbitration and Latin American law. The case was released last March and two coaches then prepared the students on the specifics of the case.

“I couldn't be more proud of the work and dedication of all of the team members,” said Smith. “Not only did they master the language, but they were able to convincingly argue in a competition based almost solely in the civil law tradition. The outstanding individual results only prove that the whole team was able to encourage and push each other to be one of the best teams in the competition--a real tribute to the students and Professor Arias."

“The past year with International Moot Court has definitely been one of the most memorable and challenging experiences of my law school career,” said Correa. “The skills and knowledge that I have gained will forever help me in the years to come. I can honestly say that thanks to Professor Arias and my coach, Quinn Smith, I have grown both professionally and as a person. Despite the hard work, late nights and back-to-back practices, the effort was worth it in the end. I look forward to the next few months as I prepare for my next competition in Madrid.”