UW College of Law Students Win Regional Client Counseling Competition

February 23, 2012
Four people smiling
These College of Law students won an intra-school competition and represented the University of Wyoming at the American Bar Association's regional client competition in Seattle, Wash. From left are Marci Crank and Kyle Ridgeway, both of Casper; Joseph Evers, of Sheridan; and Leah Ramsey, of Buffalo.

A University of Wyoming College of Law team won first place among 12 teams at a regional client counseling competition in Seattle, Wash., and will represent the region at next month's national championship.

Marci Crank and Kyle Rideway, both third-year law students from Casper, won the American Bar Association Law Student Division's Regional Client Counseling Competition at the Seattle University School of Law. The pair will be among 12 teams vying for the national championship March 16-17 at North Carolina Central University Law School in Durham, N.C. 

Crank and Rideway, along with second-year law students Leah Ramsay of Buffalo and Joseph Evers of Sheridan, were the top two teams in an intra-school completion sponsored by the Laramie law firm of Pence & MacMillan LLC .

"These four students did an outstanding job representing the University of Wyoming College of Law," says Faculty Advisory Professor Matt Wilson. "It's exciting to see the University of Wyoming succeed on the national stage. It's a great tribute to the quality and hard work ethic of our students."

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 interacting with and proposing solutions for clients. Each team consists of two law students who role-play 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 that includes explanation of confidentiality and the fee agreement. Following the interview, student lawyers then explain how they would proceed further in a hypothetical situation.

Student competitors also are 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 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.

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