TTU law students win at Clara Barton IHL competition

A group of Texas Tech law students are hoping to start a tradition.
Published: Apr. 7, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A group of Texas Tech law students are hoping to start a tradition.

They’re the first Red Raiders to compete and win at the Clara Barton International Humanitarian Law competition, a constantly changing real-life simulation of the rules of war.

Shelbi Stogdill and Danielle Munstedt are two members of Tech’s winning team.

“You really have to put yourself in the mindset of this is real life and there’s real consequences,” Stogdill said.

The students and their team spent countless hours prepping once they qualified to participate.

“Every lunch we met in this very room,” Munstedt said. “Sometimes we had two practices a day for a little bit. They would drill us with questions.”

All that preparation paid off as round after round, under the watchful eye of their judges, these Red Raiders advanced, weaving their way through complicated situations with only a short time to prepare.

“As soon as we found out we were going to the next round, you have ten minutes. They give you a packet, and you’re trying to prep,” Munstedt said.

Professor Geoffery Corn, Chair of Criminal Law at Texas Tech Law School, is one of the people who helped prepare the students.

“You gotta be ready,” Corn said. “You have to know all your research and have team members prepared for different areas of the law.”

Those humanitarian laws were created to save lives and reduce suffering during armed conflict.

Corn says the war between Russia and Ukraine as a good example.

“You’re not supposed to terrorize the civilian population,” Corn said. “You’re not supposed to indiscriminately launch missiles into populated areas. You’re not supposed to deport people from their homes back to your territory, steal children to give to families in your country.”

Stogdill and Munstedt say the simulation the team went through allowed them to gain experience in real-life scenarios they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise

“This harms people,” Stogdill said. “People die and it should be taken seriously. I think that helped us a lot, it really prepares you and that mindset helped.”

“You need to make sure that you’re always applying the law,” Munstedt said. “If you don’t, people suffer across nations and we’re seeing that right now.”

As champions, Munstedt and Stogdill are hoping to create a culture of victory at the Texas Tech Law School.

“New people get to go every time,” Stogdill said. “So, I think that the team that goes next year, we’ll probably spend a lot of time in this courtroom with them doing the same things that Josie and Sarah did for us.

“I think that we can build,” Munstedt said. “Especially under the leadership of Professor Corn, we’ll be able to build a really strong team for the future.”

Texas Tech beat Georgetown University Law Center in the finals of the competition.