Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

American Bar Association 2023 Regional Client Counseling Competition


Washburn University School of Law and the Center for Excellence in Advocacy are excited to host one of the Virtual Regional Competitions for the American Bar Association 2023 Client Counseling Competition on Saturday, February 18, 2023. The competition topic will be Transactional and Contract Law.

The Client Counseling Competition involves teams of two J.D. candidates who attend the same ABA-approved law school. The teams will complete an initial written memorandum to the file prior to the actual live competition that serves as one of the qualifying rounds. At the Regional, teams will then engage in two additional live interview qualifying rounds, with each team competing indirectly against one or two other teams in each round by performing a hypothetical first interview with a hypothetical client.

Students start these final two live rounds with a short memo with minimal information on the client seeking assistance. They then work to develop a relationship with the client to gain all of the necessary factual information, to develop a variety of options to address the client's issues, and ultimately to decide if the representation would be continued. The competition seeks to provide students with the opportunity to learn and practice the practical lawyering skills associated with initial client interviews.

Panels of two attorneys and one "helping professional" will grade participants based upon eleven distinct facets of professional legal interviewing skills. After the qualifying rounds, the top six teams advance to the semifinal round, culminating with the three winning teams in the final round. The winning team advances to the national competition.

This competition provides students with a unique opportunity to develop practical skills that will enable them to become proficient attorneys. 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.

See the schedule of events.

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General Information

Saturday, February 18, 2023

Online via Zoom. See the schedule of events.

Volunteers Needed
  • Washburn Law will be hosting this regional as a VIRTUAL competition. All volunteers can participate from the comfort of their own computer and desk. Traveling to the Law School is not required.
  • Volunteers should be comfortable using ZOOM meeting software. If you are comfortable in a normal Zoom meeting you will be able to help in this competition.
  • Washburn Law personnel will be able to send you to the virtual rooms you need to go to after online orientation for each competition round.
  • Please contact Shawn Leisinger at with any initial technology concerns as you consider volunteering.
  • Technology professionals will be available the day of competition if any issues arise. Contact information will be provided to you.