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Law Students to Compete in Regional Competition

February 4, 2009
Two men and two women
Second-year law students Ryan Ford of Cheyenne, Jodi Shea of Laramie, Temple Stevenson of Manhattan, Kan., and Josh Tolin of Casper will return as finalists in Saturday's American Bar Association Law Student Division's Regional Client Counseling Competition.

Feb. 4, 2009 -- Four University of Wyoming College of Law students will compete in the American Bar Association Law Student Division's Regional Client Counseling Competition, Saturday, Feb. 7, at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in Denver, Colorado.

Laramie law firm Pence & MacMillan sponsored the intraschool competition to determine UW's representatives. The top two teams in the intraschool competition will advance to the regional competition. Winning teams at regionals then move on to the national rounds.

This year's top teams are Jodi Shea of Laramie and Temple Stevenson of Manhattan, Kan. in first place and Josh Tolin of Casper and Ryan Ford of Cheyenne in second place. All four students are returning finalists after winning the 2008 Wyoming intraschool rounds and competing in regionals, held in Denver.

"It is a unique situation that the judges chose the same two teams from last year," says UW faculty supervisor and professor, James Delaney. "All four students are excellent competitors."

Delaney says he hopes that they will take the knowledge and experience from last year to win this year's competition and move on to nationals.

The Client Counseling Competition encourages students to develop interviewing, planning and analytical skills in the lawyer-client relationship. The competition provides an opportunity for law students to develop valuable skills in interacting with and proposing solutions for clients. Each team consists of two law students who roleplay as attorneys meeting with a potential client, played by a fellow law student.

The competition simulates a law office setting, with the student attorneys acting out the scene before a panel of three judges. This develops a professional working atmosphere, which includes explanation of confidentiality and the fee agreement.

Student competitors are also judged in areas such as analysis of the problem, moral and ethical considerations, developing alternative courses of action, providing an effective conclusion to the client meeting and post-interview reflection. A large part of the competition is also based on teamwork and how the two student attorneys work together. The competition emphasizes communication and other interpersonal skills essential to sound representation of clients.

This year's volunteer judges included attorneys from Pence & MacMillan, law school faculty and local counselors.

Posted on Wednesday, February 04, 2009

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