This month we are cheating a bit, because our Student
of the Month is not actually our student, but is a student at the Law
Faculty of Mari State University. We met Alexei Konovalov at a conference
there in February 2000, and have been working with him ever since.
In June 2000, Alexei helped to organize an international
student conference between students in Pericles’ University of
San Diego Russian Institute on International & Comparative Law and
students of Mari State Law Faculty. We were so impressed with Alexei’s
job in moderating the conference panels, that later that same year,
we helped Alexei find a short summer internship with some international
law firms. Since then, he has stayed a close friend of Pericles and
has visited us whenever he is in Moscow.
But why is Alexei May’s Student of the Month?
Because, in April 2003, Alexei and his team placed second in the world
at the Jessup International Moot Court Competition in Washington D.C.!
The Jessup is the world’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious
competition for law students. Each school participates in a national
competition, and then the winning team or teams go on to represent their
country in the international rounds.
This year is only the second year that a full scale
national Jessup competition has been held in Russia. The Moscow office
of the international law firm, White & Case, sponsors the Russian
national Jessup competition, and, in only two years, has managed to
get 19 law schools from all around Russia to compete. In this year’s
competition Mari State and St. Petersburg State finished first and second
respectively. Both teams then went on to the international rounds, where
they competed with over 80 teams from around the globe. The Mari State
team finished second in the world and the St. Petersburg state team
finished quite well also.
We think this is an outstanding
result and especially so considering the odds that the Mari State team
overcame, starting from a small town and moving on to international
championship status! We hope it will be an inspiration to everyone.
Really, Mari State’s entire team deserves to be honored. Besides
Alexei, two of his teammates, Ksenia Lopteva and Yulia Romanova also
placed among the top oralists. Alexei, congratulations on the fantastic
achievement, and please give our congratulations to your whole team
as well. You and your team have put Mari State University Law Faculty
on the map of world-class law schools.