Denver: A Mecca for International Law Aficionados

Bet you never thought you'd see "Denver" and "Mecca" in the same sentence, unless it was a sentence that said "Denver is a Mecca for people who dislike oxygen," huh? I also bet you didn't think I could spell "aficionado," did you? Well, I can't. I had to google it.

Karl Maeser was so proud of our moot court team.
The truth is that Denver is the place for international law aficionados, at least the ones who haven't yet graduated from law school. During each of the past two Februaries, the University of Denver has hosted one of six U.S. "Superregional" rounds of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition. The Jessup competition is the largest moot court competition in the world; law students from across the globe take sides in a made-up dispute between fictional countries and argue the case before judges who pretend they sit on the International Court of Justice, but who actually sit every day of their meaningless lives at desks in small, strip mall law firms in suburban Denver.

Denver's competition is called the "Rocky Mountain Superregional." You would think that schools from the Rocky Mountain region would attend the "Rocky Mountain Superregional," but you'd be wrong, which is unusual for you, as you're typically quite astute and on the ball. I don't know what's happened to you lately. This year, my school, BYU, competed against some teams with only tenuous ties to the Rocky Mountains: Nevada (close to the Rocky Mountains), Oregon (close to the Pacific Ocean, under which tectonic forces create the Rocky Mountains), Kansas (in rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains), Minnesota (still on same side of the Mississippi as the Rocky Mountains), Michigan (the Red Hot Chili Peppers sang a song about Michigan, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are from California, which has mountains), and Tennessee (people here learn about mountains as part of public education).

Student teams that win at the Superregional level advance to the "Worlds" competition in Washington DC. But if you lack a snooty, distinguished accent, you can forget about winning. Only Brits, Australians, Kiwis, and Inuits really have much of a chance (Inuit accents are super urbane and international).

Our team of six white dudes from Utah made a respectable showing, advancing to the quarterfinals and taking home a plaque for the competition's second-place memorial (a "memorial" is what you call a "court brief" if you're a "global citizen"). I also took home plaque between my teeth because I forgot to floss.