Baylor Law Students Win Regional Client Counseling Contest

Feb. 12, 2007

Baylor law students Kristi Kautz and Ginger Hunter won first place in the American Bar Association's Client Counseling regional competition, held Feb. 10 at South Texas School of Law in Houston. The team will advance to the national competition, which will be held March 16-17 at SMU.

"This is an incredibly gratifying win, especially since this is a skill almost all attorneys need at some point in their careers," said Patricia Wilson, Baylor law professor and coach for the team. "And both our teams made a strong showing. This was truly a group effort."

The annual Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and counsel their "client" on how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation. This year, the regional competition dealt with issues in family law.

"Students interview these clients and must learn the client's problem. They must give sound legal and non-legal advice and develop a rapport with the client. Each consultation lasts 45 minutes followed a 15-minute evaluation by the judges," Wilson said.

To prepare for the competition, the Baylor students researched problems associated with family law and practiced with mock clients, often portrayed by first-year law students. According to Wilson, the teams conducted 12-15 interviews during the three weeks prior to the regional competition, which involved scheduling practices around final exams that occurred shortly before the competition.

Baylor competed against teams from law schools in Texas, Colorado and Wyoming. The Baylor team defeated South Texas School of Law, last year's national champion, in the semifinals and the University of Houston and Texas Tech in the finals. Another Baylor team of Erin Capps and Kimberly Schott also participated in the competition. Matthew Crowell and Steve Kelly served as student coaches.

For more information, contact Wilson at 710-6591.

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