For more than 10 years, Russia has been hosting Willem C. Vis pre-moots. The Moscow Vis Pre-Moot founders are Olesya Petrol and Alexander Yagelnitskiy. Olesya Petrol says:
The Moscow Pre-Moot represents training rounds to the renowned Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Teams from all around the world (more than 370 already, I think) will compete in the Vienna Vis Moot. As time passed, reputable legal schools, arbitration centres and legal firms across the globe started holding training rounds, where students practise to get ready for Vienna.
This is how the Moscow Pre-Moot was born 10 years ago: from a get-together of Russian teams, it transformed into an international pre-moot bringing together more than 25 participants, and the number keeps growing.
For strong teams aspiring to demonstrate adequate performance in Vienna, training at 4-5 pre-moots today is a must. They will face colossal competition for entering the 1/64, and, without taking part in pre-moots, testing arguments, practising the position, presentation and, most importantly, skills of answering questions of arbitrators are nearly impossible (the intrinsically star team phenomenon still exists, of course).
I have been consistently involved in supporting student competitions, because, as a participant in various moots, I may state that such competitions are life-changing for law students. Moots allow one to view legal and non-legal matters through a different lens: they teach us to deal with and recognise legal issues, develop our taste (to legal sources and decisions) and presentation style, teach us to live and work as a team, jointly stand against strong opponents, manage stress, unlock potential of ourselves and other people, and many other things. If you are lucky (like I was), you will also find friends for life there: it’s no secret that our firm partners used to be Vis Moot participants.
Full report here (in Russian).