Volunteers Needed for ABA Client Counseling Competition

Washburn University School of Law seeks volunteers to serve as judges and clients for the American Bar Association Law Student Division Regional Client Counseling Competition on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013. Washburn Law will be hosting teams of law students from Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas who will pit their skills in client interviewing. This year's topic is "Employment Law Including Employment Discrimination."

Volunteer judges should have experience as either attorneys or helping professionals such as psychologists, social workers, counselors, ministers or the like. Volunteer clients can be anyone who can read and digest one to two pages of facts and then play the role of that particular client. Volunteers are needed for three timeslots: 7:30 a.m. to noon; noon to 3 p.m.; and from 3 to 7 p.m.

Panels of two attorneys and one helping professional will grade participants based upon 11 distinct facets of professional legal interviewing skills. These volunteer judges will receive a summary of the hypothetical client problem(s) including judging guidance and scoring information in advance of the event. Volunteer clients will receive a one- to two-page summary of facts from which to play the client. Additional guidance will be given to all volunteers the day of the competition. 

This competition provides students with a unique opportunity to develop practical skills that will enable them to become proficient client advocates. Judges not only grade the competitors, but also use this as an opportunity to teach students effective client interviewing and counseling skills by providing constructive criticism and feedback after each competition round. This is an excellent opportunity for members of the legal community to actively instruct and participate in the development of the next generation of lawyers.

For more information or to volunteer visit: http://washburnlaw.edu/clientcounseling/ or contact Freddy Sourgens, professor of law and event director, at (785) 670-1772,  freddy.sourgens@washburn.edu, or Donna Vilander, assistant event director, at (785) 670-1105 or donna.vilander@washburn.edu