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Alexei Konovalov
Student of the Month
May 2003

Second Place
at the Jessup International
Moot Court Competition in Washington D.C.

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.