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ABA Regional Competition Hosted at University of Arkansas School of Law
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University of Arkansas

Summary: The University of Arkansas School of Law will host the American Bar Association Regional Competition.

The American Bar Association holds a Client Counseling Competition every year. The University of Arkansas School of Law was selected as the Region 10 host of the 2017-2018 competition by the ABA, according to the university’s announcement. The competition will be held Saturday, February 2 in the U of A campus’s Waterman Hall. There will be teams from law schools in Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.


Co-chairing the event are third-year law students Creighton Light, Lucas Sheets and Zachary Trail. Board of Advocates executive committee members Brittany Ford, Caitlin Kenner and Jessica Boykin and the board’s third-year membership will help support them. The Board of Advocates is a student-run organization at the law school the helps students with opportunities to build their public speaking and writing skills by giving them practical experience through competitions.

Director of competitions and capstone courses, Kathryn Sampson, said, “We are proud of our tradition of deploying student leadership to manage many of the important aspects of the planning, preparation and execution of the competition.”

The competition works where law students simulate a law office consultation. The students act like an attorney presented with a client matter. The matters are selected from intentional torts. Each law school can register two teams, which is made up of two students who attend the same law school. Usually, the schools hold their own intraschool competition or tryout process to pick their team members.

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The students hold an interview with a “client.” The student attorneys produce facts, advise on any relevant laws, give options for proceeding with the matter and assist the client with making an informed decision on the next steps. After the interview, the student attorneys consult with each other on how the interview went and develop a plan of action for the client.

The competition helps law students gain knowledge and interest in preventive law and counseling on laws. They also gain valuable experience in interviewing, planning and analyzing for lawyer-client relationships. The American Bar Association has been holding the competition since 1973 with around 100 U.S. and Canadian law schools participating each year. They rely on local members of the bench and bar to donate their time as judges, actors and other roles for each interview stage. This U of A event will have over 70 volunteers.

The regional competitions are held sometime in February and March each year. There are three preliminary rounds, a semifinal round, and then a final round. All of the teams compete in the first three preliminary rounds. Six teams are able to qualify for the semifinals. Three teams are then able to advance to the final round. From the regional competition, the one winning team moves on to the National Finals, which this year are held in mid-March in Durham, North Carolina.

Sampson said, “We are excited to host this regional competition for the American Bar Association. The U of A is one of only 12 schools chosen to host one of these regional events this year, and we are ready to share the beauty and hospitality of our campus with our guests.”

Do you think this is a valuable experience for law students? Share your thoughts in the comment below.

To learn more about other competitions, read these articles:



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