ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition
January 29, 2021 - January 30, 2021
Want to help judge or act as a client for a virtual law school competition?
UNC School of Law will be hosting the American Bar Association’s Regional Client Counseling Competition on January 29-30, 2021. The competition will be held entirely over Zoom, so you don’t need to be in or near the Triangle, North Carolina area to help out with the competition.
The American Bar Association (ABA) oversees the Regional and National Client Counseling tournaments. Law schools throughout the country host regional competitions on a rotating basis, and the regional champions advance to the National competition. Judges for the competition include attorneys, as well non-attorney professionals who are knowledgeable in the counseling profession (such as therapists, mediators, counselors, social workers, etc.).
The competition aims to increase awareness and development of skills in the preventive and counseling functions of law practice. Some of these skills include listening to the client, identifying the client’s goals, acknowledging the client’s feelings, questioning the client, and advising the client.
- 40+ volunteer judges for the competition (with the majority of these judges judging preliminary rounds on Friday, 1/29).
- 16+ volunteer clients (clients are provided a two-page story that they use to help answer interview questions by the competing team members)
Friday, January 29, 1:00-4:30pm – 3 1/2-hour judging commitment in the afternoon. Clients would need to be available for roughly the same time.
Saturday, January 30, 9:00-11:30am – the semifinal rounds require a 2 1/2-hour judging commitment. Clients would need to be available for roughly the same time.
Saturday, January 30, approximately 1:00-5:00pm – the final round. The client would need to be available from about 1:00-4:30pm.
Unlike appellate advocacy moot court competitions, there is not much preparatory work for judging the client counseling competition (for example, there are no research briefs to read in advance or questions to prepare). All that you would be asked to do as a judge is to observe the teams interview a client. You don’t even ask any questions during the interview. After the interview is over, you are free to provide some short feedback to the teams. The ABA would provide you with a set of judging standards to help you evaluate the competitors’ performances, and the tournament host administrator would forward all Zoom links to you in advance of the competition.