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BC Law Wins ABA Client Counseling Regionals

2/07/05—Boston College Law School’s Client Counseling Team has won the ABA Regional Competition, which was held at Boston College Law School on Saturday, February 5th. The win came over a very strong Suffolk Law School team in the final round, and BC Law will move on to the national championship round, to be held in California in March.

Boston College Law School was represented in the competition by the team of Tiffany Morris and Daniel Navisky, who are first-year students. The team was selected in an internal competition administered by co-chairs Meagan Garland and Liza Mamtani on behalf of the Board of Student Advisors.

“Their performances in the first three rounds were close to flawless,” said faculty advisor and BC Law Professor Evangeline Sarda. “In a final round that was particularly difficult, they showed their customary creativity, legal acumen and well-developed interviewing style.”

None of the judges or clients knew the identity of the participating schools until after the round was completed. When the scores were tallied, Suffolk and Boston College advanced to the final round Saturday afternoon. The judges for the final round were Kevin Callanan, a member of the BC Law Board of Overseers, Ellen Kearns, a former President of the Womens Bar Association of Massachusetts, and Professor Donald Riley from the Boston College School of Social Work. The client was portrayed by the actor Andrea Lyman, herself the holder of a degree in Social Work, who gave a brilliant performance.

“Ten teams participated in the Region 1 Client Counseling Competition, and nearly forty lawyers, social workers, ministers and other counselors volunteered to spend their Saturday morning judging three separate client interviews by each team,” said Director of Advocacy Programs Thomas Carey. “Another dozen people, including law students, social work students, and actors, volunteered to play the roles of the clients. I’d like to thank everyone who participated for a job very well done, and to congratulate our extraordinarily talented winning team.”

The purpose of the ABA Client Counseling Competition is to promote greater knowledge and interest among law students in the preventive law and counseling functions of law practice and to encourage students to develop interviewing, planning, and analytical skills in the lawyer client relationship in the law office. The competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client and then explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation. About one hundred law schools participate throughout the country.