Sydney Law School alumnus tops LLM at Cambridge

27 July 2022
Top of the Cambridge LLM and Jessup Moot world champion
Meet Eric Shi. Sydney Law School alumnus with an outstanding list of achievements to his name. Most recently, being ranked first in the Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge.

Eric Shi, LLB ('17)

Eric Shi completed his Bachelor of Laws at Sydney Law School in 2017. While still early in his legal career, his achievements already set him apart on a global stage.  

He recently completed his Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge where he topped his cohort, graduated with a final grade of First Class with Distinction, and was awarded an impressive number of prestigious academic prizes:

  • The BRD Clarke Prize for the Best Overall Performance in the LLM
  • The Chancellor’s Medal for English Law
  • The Allen & Overy Prize for International Financial Law
  • The Volterra Fietta Prize for International Investment Law.

Eric Shi with teammates, Alessandré Alonso and Alisa Gerasimenko, after winning the Jean-Pictet Competition.

When asked about his time spent at Cambridge, Eric said, “the experience was intellectually stimulating from start to finish. It was a privilege to have been taught by leading academics and practitioners whose passion and expertise were captivating and challenging in equal measure."

Given his academic achievements, it would be easy to conclude that Eric spent all of his time studying in the library. Impressively, he balanced his time immersing himself in student life activities at Cambridge: "I was fortunate that my year in Cambridge was largely unaffected by the pandemic, which meant I was able to enjoy punting along the Cam, attend formal halls, win the Cambridge College Chess League for Catz (St Catharine’s College), and ‘survive’ a May Ball (which was actually held in June). The highlight of my year was travelling to Albania and winning the 38th edition of the Jean-Pictet Competition (an international humanitarian law competition) alongside my teammates.”

Later this year, Eric will move to London to work in private practice.

Like his time spent in Cambridge, Eric was actively involved in student life activities at Sydney Law School. And it comes as no surprise that his successes continued in the extracurricular activities he was involved in.

Beyond the purely academic side of the Bachelor of Laws, the most rewarding part of studying at Sydney Law School was becoming a member of the mooting community and volunteering for the SULS Competitions portfolio from my very first year.
Eric Shi

2017 world champion Jessup Moot team with Dr Alison Pert, Sydney Law School

In 2017, Eric participated in the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition where he alongside his team were crowned world champions.

At the time, Sydney Law School had won the coveted Jessup Moot Cup a record five times, a feat no other law school in the world had achieved. In 2021, our Jessup Moot team were crowned world champions again, creating a new world record of 6 Jessup Cup wins (1996, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2017 and 2021).

Eric had this to say about his mooting experience: “I am indebted to the countless academics, practitioners and former students who generously gave up their time to help me improve, not to mention my long-suffering teammates. In that spirit of mentorship, it has been a pleasure to return to coach teams in various domestic and international competitions and to see the community continue to flourish in recent years.”

We spoke to Eric about what attracted him to study his LLB at Sydney Law School, his experience as a Law School student, and what to consider when considering postgraduate study.

Why Sydney Law School?

Sydney Law School’s reputation for excellent teaching in private, public, and international law was a significant factor. I believed that studying the Bachelor of Laws at the University of Sydney would provide me with a broad range of academic and extracurricular opportunities and a strong foundation for both further study and legal practice.

What were some Law School highlights?

I particularly enjoyed studying private international law with Associate Professor Ross Anderson, insolvency with Professor John Stumbles and equity with Professor Jamie Glister. I also benefited greatly from the wisdom of my Honours supervisor Dr Andrew Dyer and the international arbitration and public international law expertise of Professor Chester Brown, Associate Professor Emily Crawford, Dr Alison Pert and Professor Tim Stephens, especially through their longstanding commitment to, and support of, Sydney Law School’s mooting program. In that connection, being part of the 2016 IMLAM and 2017 Jessup teams are the two undergraduate experiences of which I have the fondest memories.  

What does it mean to be a part of our alumni community?

With the well-rounded legal education obtained through their undergraduate studies, Sydney Law School alumni have a plethora of future pathways, including domestic and international professional and postgraduate study opportunities.
Eric Shi

Alumni also remain part of a lifelong network of talented legal practitioners and academics, and I am grateful that some of my closest friendships were formed during my time at Sydney Law School.

What advice do you have for those looking to pursue postgraduate study?

I will offer three general points. 

First, reflect upon when and why you want to pursue postgraduate study. Personally, I decided to work for a few years before pursuing my LLM so that I could determine the areas in which further study would be most beneficial to my career.

Second, do your research. Every postgraduate course is different and it is important to compare teaching styles, assessment formats, degree specialisations and research expertise cross different faculties when deciding which universities and courses to apply for. Also remember to check the deadlines and requirements for the various scholarships and other funding sources that exist to support further study.

Third, give yourself enough time to prepare the applications. These always take longer than you think so it is important to get started early.

Current law students: Applications are now open for the Jessup International Law Moot 2023. An information session will take place on 9 August 2022 at 1:15 pm, online and in-person. The Law School’s Faculty Adviser, Dr Alison Pert, the 2023 coach Jake Jerogin (a member of the World Champion 2021 team), and the 2022 team, will be present to talk about the competition and answer any questions you may have.

Find out more.

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