Baylor Law Team Qualifies for National Client Counseling Tournament

Feb. 20, 2009

Contact: Julie Carlson, Baylor Law School, (254) 710-6681

The Baylor Law School team of Sean Hicks and Robert Lopez won the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition, which automatically qualifies them for the National Competition that will be held in North Carolina in March. The team is coached by Waco attorney and adjunct professor Vik Deivayanayagam. The regional tournament was held at Baylor Feb. 13-14.

In winning the tournament, Lopez and Hicks beat out the teams from SMU and Texas Tech in the final round. A second Baylor team of Anastasia Villescas and Sara LaCour made the break of the top six teams, but lost to SMU in the semi-final round. A total of 11 teams from seven law schools - Baylor, SMU, Texas Tech, Texas Southern, Texas Wesleyan, Houston and South Texas - competed.

Client counseling competitions simulate the initial meetings between attorneys and potential clients. Competitors are judged on their ability to establish a rapport with clients, their method in gathering facts of a case, their discussion of ethical issues and legal fees, and other related questions that arise between attorneys and clients.

This is the fourth Baylor Law team to qualify for a national tournament.

A Baylor team made the "Elite Eight" at the National Moot Court Competition in New York City, and two Baylor Law mock trial teams qualified for the National Trial Competition, which will take place in late March in San Antonio.

Additionally during the fall 2008, a Baylor Law team won the National Trial Advocacy Competition, and for the third year in a row, a Baylor team won the Mack Kidd Moot Court Competition.

"These successes by our client counseling, mock trial and moot court teams demonstrate that our students know how to practice law, from the initial meeting with clients to representing them in trial and appellate court," said Baylor Law Dean Brad Toben. "Our gifted and hard-working students, our talented and dedicated coaches and our practice-oriented approach to legal education are the reason for our consistent success at interscholastic competitions."

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