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NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ADMINISTRATOR WEBINAR. The Basics. The Basics – Structure of the Jessup Competition. The Basics – The ILSA Executive Office.

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National and regional administrator webinar


The basics the ilsa executive office
The Basics – The ILSA Executive Office

The International Law Students Association is a non-profit organization of students and lawyers who are dedicated to the promotion of international law.

ILSA provides students with opportunities to study, research, and network in the international arena.

ILSA’s activities include organizing academic conferences, publishing academic works, globally coordinating student chapters, and administering the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition.

The Executive Office of ILSA is located in Chicago, Illinois, in the United States.

  • Registers Teams

  • Creates Jessup Problem

  • Authors Jessup Rules

  • Serves as final arbiter of Jessup Rules

  • Appoints Administrators of Qualifying Tournaments

  • Collects Memorials

  • Oversees Qualifying Tournaments

  • Administers International Rounds

The basics administrators
The Basics – Administrators

Regional and National Administrators are appointed by the ILSA Executive Office.

  • Plan and coordinate all aspects of qualifying tournaments

  • Act with authority of ILSA and as representative of ILSA

  • Enforce Jessup Rules

  • Communicate with and support regional or national teams

    • List of registered teams to be distributed, but is subject to change. Many teams have outstanding issues. Final version will be sent before your competition.

The basics sketch of the season team s perspective
The Basics –Sketch of the Season (Team’s Perspective)

  • August

    • Registration opens

    • Official Rules Released

  • September

    • Jessup Problem (Compromis) Released

  • November

    • Registration Deadline

  • December

    • Corrections to the Compromis Released

  • January

    • Memorial Deadline

  • Mid-January thru Early-March

    • Qualifying Tournaments

  • Late-March

    • White & Case International Rounds

The basics sketch of the season administrator s perspective
The Basics – Sketch of the Season (Administrator’s Perspective)

  • See Official Competition Schedule (

    • Most important deadlines are registration, memorial submission, and late memorial submission deadline.

  • See Pre-Tournament Checklist and Timeline (pg. 5 of Administrator’s Guide,

  • See Tournament Checklist and Timeline (pg. 14 of Administrator’s Guide,

Ten elements of a qualifying tournament
Ten Elements of a Qualifying Tournament Perspective)

  • Teams

  • Materials

  • Venue

  • Staff

  • Judges

  • Bailiffs

  • Finances

  • Rules

  • Results

  • Follow-up

1 teams
1. Teams Perspective)

  • Teams are the focal point of the Competition.

  • Administrator Tasks relating to teams

    • Recruiting (registration is now closed, ask Executive Director if new team needs to register late)

    • Registration (many teams are still finalizing registration information, team members, payment)

    • Communication (schedule, logistics, team pairings, results, support for team(s) advancing to International Rounds (visa and fundraising letters)

2 materials
2. Materials Perspective)

  • Core Materials

    • Jessup Compromis and Clarifications

    • Jessup Rules

    • Official Schedule

    • National Rounds Page

    • Administrators’ Page

      • Judges Bench Memorandum is in the Password-Protected Section (updated frequently)

  • Materials Index

    • See page 4 of the Administrator’s Guide

3 venue
3. Venue Perspective)

  • Common Venues - We recommend February

    • Universities (competing schools or other school)

    • Law firms

    • Hotels

    • Court houses

    • Bar Associations, Inns of Court

  • Don’t forget the specifics

    • How many rooms you need and when

    • Can the rooms be converted into a Jessup courtroom with a podium and seats for team members, advisors, spectators and judges?

    • Is there space for judge’s lounge, competitor’s lounge, advancing teams announcement, awards reception, final round, place to print and copy?

4 competition staff
4. Competition Staff Perspective)

  • Every tournament will have different staffing needs.

  • Common Staff Positions

    • Competition Coordinator

    • Judges Coordinator

    • Bailiff Coordinator

    • Scoring Coordinator

5 judges basics
5. Judges - Basics Perspective)

  • Recruiting & Preparing judges are the most important and difficult task for most competitions

    • Offer and advertise incentives and thank-you’s

      • Small gift, reception and food, continuing legal education (CLE) credit, training in international law/ mooting culture, certificate of service, thank-you letter

  • Preparation

    • Start recruiting & scheduling oral round, memorial, and advanced round judges as early as possible

    • Access to Compromis & Clarifications, Summary, Written Training Guides, White & Case Judge Training Video, Scoresheets, Judges’ Bench Memorandum

    • Convey and confirm schedules, tasks, and onsite information

5 judges recruiting sources
5. Judges – Recruiting Sources Perspective)

  • Bar Associations


    • Local: Country, State, Province, City, County

    • Committees: International, Women, Minority, Government, Litigation, Trial, Dispute Resolution, Immigration, Pro Bono Service

  • Government (Government Attorneys and Prosecutors, Public Defenders, Judges)

  • Law School Resources (Professors, alumni associations and listserves, LLM/advanced degree candidates)

  • Law Firms (Partners and shareholders for advanced rounds; ask managing/hiring partner, pro bono coordinator to circulate invitation; target litigation, international, trial, and immigration practice groups)

  • 6 bailiffs
    6. Bailiffs Perspective)

    • The bailiff is the least appreciated but one of the most important positions

    • Tips

      • Recruiting - Student organizations

      • Training – Day before or morning of competition

      • Materials (All available on administrator’s webpage)

        • Bailiff Instructions (training manual for bailiffs

        • Bailiff Timekeeping Sheet (explains when to hold up timecards)

        • Bailiff Script (bailiff reads aloud at beginning of round)

      • Back-ups

    7 finances
    7. Finances Perspective)

    • A small qualifying tournament can be very cheap; a large qualifying tournament can be very expensive.

    • Common sources of funding (fundraising support letter from ILSA is on password protected administrator’s webpage)

      • Participating Schools

      • Government agencies

        • Foreign ministries

        • Embassies

        • USAID

      • Foundations

      • Private Industry

        • Law firms

        • Airlines

      • Legal Trade Organizations

        • Bar Associations

        • International Law Societies

    8 rules
    8. Rules Perspective)

    • Rules National Administrators MUST know well

      • Eligibility requirements (Rules 2.1 and 2.2)

      • Registration requirements (Rule 3.0)

      • Memorial submission process (Rule 6.1)

      • Procedures for conducting oral rounds (Rule 7.0)

      • Scoring Method (Rule 10.0)

      • Penalties (Rule 11.0)

    • National Rules Supplements

    9 results
    9. Results Perspective)

    • Getting Results (Scoring)

    • Announcing Results

      • Preliminary rounds

      • Advanced rounds

      • Final round

    • Explaining Results

    • Celebrating Results

    10 follow up
    10. Follow-up Perspective)

    • Notice to ILSA Executive Office

    • Certificates of Participation

    • Thank-you letters to Staff, Judges, and Bailiffs

    • Advancing Team(s) Support

    Five keys to a successful qualifying tournament
    Five Keys to a Successful Qualifying Tournament Perspective)

    Prepare, prepare, prepare. Plan the tournament ahead of time and in an efficient manner.

    Effectively recruit and utilize volunteers.

    Review the plan with your staff multiple times. Double-check that responsibilities are confirmed, understood, and remembered.

    Read and respond to your email frequently and promptly.

    Frequently interact with and seek the advice of the ILSA Executive Office.

    Websites Perspective)

    • ILSA’s Website

      • Jessup Page

      • Administrator’s Page

      • Nationals Page

      • Materials Page

      • Rules Page

      • Registration

    • National Rounds Website

    Phase i planning what to do now
    Phase I Planning (What to do now) Perspective)

    • Read Administrator’s Guide

    • Reserve Competition Venue and Important Spaces within Venue (advancing teams announcement, awards reception, and final round spaces)

    • Prepare list of contacts to invite to judge preliminary oral rounds and grade memorials

    • Save the Dates

    • Invite Final Round judges

    • Draft complete schedule of events

    • Obtain final list of teams from ILSA and start to correspond with teams as a group

    Phase ii planning 1or 2 months until competition
    Phase II Planning (1or 2 Months until Competition) Perspective)

    • Identify key competition staff (judge coordinator, bailiff coordinator)

    • Invite oral Round Judges to sign up to judge specific rounds

    • Plan each competition event (orientation, oral rounds, advancing teams announcement, awards reception, advanced rounds)

    • Reserve specific rooms for each event (don’t forget judges’ room, competitors’ lounge, etc.)

    • Confirm Final Round judges

    Phase iii planning month of competition
    Phase III Planning – Month of Competition Perspective)

    • Finish recruiting all oral round judges, including back-ups, and CONFIRM schedules

    • Recruit bailiffs, CONFIRM schedules

    • Receive memorials from ILSA, invite memorials judges to grade memorials and assign memorials.

    • Convey team pairings and final competition schedule to teams

    • CONFIRM all onsite logistics with host (venue hours, where to print and make copies, how to access internet, where materials will arrive, etc.)

    Important information
    Important Information Perspective)

    • Will Patterson, Executive Director

      • Mobile: +1 (312) 919-8057

      • Office: +1 (312) 362-5021

      • Skype name: wmjdpatterson

    • Ashley Walker, Jessup Competition Coordinator

      • Office: +1 (312) 362-6115

    • ILSA Office

      • Main line: +1 (312) 362-5025

      • Fax: +1 (312) 362-5073

    Advanced information
    Advanced Information Perspective)

    Memorial submission
    Memorial Submission Perspective)

    • Each team must submit 1 Applicant and 1 Respondent memorial to by 11:59am local time on January 11th

      • Teams might send memorials to you directly as well

    • National Supplements may change submission rule in exceptional circumstances (Rule 6.1(c)):

      • Set earlier submission deadline

      • Require teams to email memorials to opposing teams

      • Require teams to provide paper copies of memorials

      • Require teams to bring memorials in print or on CD to competition

    Memorial penalties
    Memorial Penalties Perspective)

    • You are responsible for assigning penalties to memorials (See Memorial Penalty Worksheet at

    • Common penalties:

      • Late submission, re-submission after deadline

      • Violation of word count maximums

      • Failure to include necessary information on cover page

    • Team appeals of penalties will be resolved by ILSA Executive Director.

      • Teams must be notified of memorial penalties and appeals procedure prior to start of first preliminary oral round

    Memorial scoring
    Memorial Scoring Perspective)

    • Each memorial graded by three Judges

      • Set early deadlines

      • Maintain anonymity (renumber memorials for judges if necessary, e.g., if judge grades A and R memorials of the same team)

    • Judges will provide score between 50-100.

      • Judges will fill out memorial score sheet

      • Only number in Total Score box matters

      • Penalty points you assess will be subtracted from each Total Score

    • These scores will be used throughout preliminary rounds

    Building a preliminary oral round
    Building a Preliminary Oral Round Perspective)

    • Pairing Teams

      • Random Draw, avoid “clusters” where sub-groups of teams all compete against one another.

    • Assigning a Bailiff

    • Assigning Judges

      • Mix of Experienced and New Judges

      • Ask Judges to report conflicts in advance and onsite

        • What is a conflict? Only if Judge feels they would be unable to impartially Judge a round.

      • Judges should not see the same team twice. Judges cannot see the same side of a team twice.

    Building an advanced oral round
    Building an Advanced Oral Round Perspective)

    • Pairing Teams (see Rule 8.2) and Pleading Option

      • First Advanced Rounds – Power Seeding

        • Assume 8 teams:

          • Match 1: Rank 1 v. 8, Match 2: 2 v. 7, etc.

      • Second Advanced Rounds

        • Winner of Match 1 v. Match 4; Match 2 v. Match 3

    • Assigning a Bailiff

    • Assigning Judges

      • Ideally experienced Judges

      • Ask Judges to report conflicts

      • Should not see the same team twice unless necessary

    Running an oral competition prep i
    Running an Oral Competition – Prep I Perspective)

    • What is this going to be like? (Mentality: Think Ahead!)

    • Onsite Judges’ Room Materials:

      • Competition schedule, Rules, team pairings, team travel forms, memorial penalty worksheets, judge schedules, judge benches, judge conflict sheets

      • Compromis & Clarifications, Judge’s Bench Memo, Judge Training Guides, Team Memorials

      • Bailiff Materials (Instructions, Timekeeping Sheet, Script, Timers, Timecards)

      • Scoresheets (Prelims, Advanced Rounds, Memorials)

      • CLE Info, Judge and Team Certificates, Awards

      • Judges’ Robes (optional), Judge/Bailiff Nametags, Basic Office Supplies

    • Coordinate delivery, arrival, and storage of onsite materials; unpack, set up in judges room, and count; make last-minute copies

    Running an oral competition prep ii
    Running an Oral Competition – Prep II Perspective)

    • Prepare Judges’ Room:

      • Organize all Competition Materials in Judges room so everything is accessible, consider the flow of traffic by judges and bailiffs

      • Take home/lock up extra bench memos after rounds conclude for the day

      • Space for coffee, snacks, confirm delivery time

      • Space for judges to hang coats, store bags

    • Prepare Courtrooms:

      • Podium/lecturn present in all rooms, faces space where three judges can comfortably sit, space for both teams, space for spectators, is the room wheelchair accessible?,

      • Sample Diagram on Page 17 of National Administrators Guide

    • Other Event Rooms:

      • Confirm with host/venue liaison when you have rooms, room set-up (e.g., tables, podium), audio-visual support (e.g., microphone), catering, etc.

    Running an oral competition arrival
    Running an Oral Competition – Arrival Perspective)

    • Team Orientation:

      • Day before or day of, distribute penalty worksheets, go over building logistics, event schedule, and key Rules

    • Judges

      • Greet judges as they arrive, check-off bench list, give team memorials/other materials as necessary, introduce to fellow judges and bailiff

      • Give brief announcement/round over view just before each round begins

    • Bailiffs

      • Greet bailiffs, check off round assignment list, give training/training materials as necessary, give round materials, 10 mins before round send to courtrooms to complete teams’ info on scoresheets/fill out timekeeping sheet, upon return introduce to judges to escort to rooms.

    Running an oral competition preliminary rounds
    Running an Oral Competition – Preliminary Rounds Perspective)

    • Before Rounds

      • Send out each group of judges + bailiff with necessary round materials 5 mins before round begins

    • Immediately after each round concludes

      • Receive team appeals from bailiff, go to courtroom to discuss with teams, intervene in judge deliberations as necessary to discuss problem

      • Retrieve scoresheets from bailiff, make sure they are signed

      • Catch judges as they return to recycle memorials, confirm next round, ask them to substitute/grade memorials, sign unsigned scoresheets, take CLE form/judge certificate

    • Between rounds

      • Enter scores in scoring spreadsheet

      • Make judge benches for next round, plan substitutions

      • Take stock of missing materials, make copies, clean up room

    Running an oral competition advanced rounds
    Running an Oral Competition – Advanced Rounds Perspective)

    • After Preliminary Rounds Conclude

      • Enter last set of scores, double-check all scores, calculate results, make copies of memorials of advancing teams and other materials, prepare judge benches for advanced rounds if they begin soon (if possible prior to pleading option), give team memorials to judges to read

    • Advancing Teams Announcement

      • (Bring results, advanced round room assignments, and memorials with you) Congratulate teams, announce advancing teams, announce rooms top-seeded advancing teams will compete in, explain pleading option after announcement to advancing teams, exchange memorials

    • Advanced Rounds

      • Same as preliminaries, but substitute advanced rounds scoresheet and give judges memorials early to consider more thoroughly

    Running an oral competition final
    Running an Oral Competition – Final Perspective)

    • Between Competition Days

      • Make extra copies, get needed materials, clean up room and prepare it for next day as much as possible, make judge substitutions and judge benches for the first round of each day, enter any scores (oral, memorial, penalties) not entered during the day, arrive early the next day to finish setting up and greet judges

    • Awards Reception

      • Prep room, bring all results and awards, participation certificates, oversee catering set-up, arrival of guest speakers, etc.; ensure judges’ room is secure during reception; as awards presented, note absences, duplicates, corrections

    • After Final Round

      • Explain logistics of advancing to the International Rounds to winning team(s)

      • Write results summary and convey to ILSA, prepare list of award duplicates and corrections to make and unclaimed awards to mail, clean up judges’ room, pack up/mail remaining supplies

    Oral round scoring preliminary rounds
    Oral Round Scoring – Preliminary Rounds Perspective)

    • Each Oral Round Judge is worth 2 Round Points

    • Each Memorial Judge is worth 1 Round Point

    • The Winning Team is the team with the most Round Points

    • Judges may take into account memorials in addition to oral pleadings

    • Judges should not announce the winner at the end of the round, they should just give performance-based feedback

    Oral round scoring preliminary rounds1
    Oral Round Scoring – Preliminary Rounds Perspective)

    Oral Round Points (2 Round Points for each Judge)

    Memorial Round Points (1 Round Point for each Judge)

    Oral round scoring advanced rounds
    Oral Round Scoring – Advanced Rounds Perspective)

    • Each Advanced Round has three Judges

      • Each Judge worth 1 point

      • Judges should consider oral argument & memorials

    • Each Judge awards his or her point to the team he/she believes won the match

    • Judges can announce winner at the end of the round