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Why I entered an ABA Law Student Division competition

ABA Law Student Division Competitions

Did you know that the American Bar Association sponsors four skills competitions for students nationwide? For the record, they’re the:

Also for the record, they’re pretty easy to enter. You’ll need to fill out some forms, follow a few rules, and then become an ABA Law Student Division Premium member for the current school year—which will set you back a whopping $25. (For that miniscule sum, you also get exclusive savings on bar review courses; get 20% off and free shipping on orders on West Academic case books and study guides; and receive a free legal ethics course outline from

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The ABA Law Student Division Competition Registration is open! Visit the Competitions Homepage for links to each competition and additional information.

Maybe you’re a little intimidated at the idea of competing against your peers from across the country? Some of the recent winners of each of the competitions say they were also nervous and unsure. But they entered anyway—and to a person, they’re so glad they did.

If you’re interested in challenging yourself, building your resume, and growing your network among students, coaches, and judges nationwide, take a few minutes for a little bit of light reading.

Here, six students explain why they threw caution to the wind and entered. They also reveal the work involved and the rewards they earned from the experience. Finally, they offer tips to students like you who’ve been mulling the idea of entering but haven’t yet made the commitment.

National Appellate Advocacy Competition

A chance to compete with the best
NAACSophia George: I was a 1L when I first heard about the ABA Law Student Division National Appellate Advocacy Competition. It was right before finals in 2016, and I remember receiving an email from our school telling us that St. Mary’s had won the championship.

Negotiation Competition

Preparation and self-evaluation creates an international winner
KennedyBrian Kennedy: I entered the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition to earn law school credits. I ended up having one of the most fulfilling and educational experiences of my life.

Five lessons from the negotiation competition
Drutowski and WysongJeffrey Wysong: Confession: I never planned to compete in the ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition.

An opportunity to become a better person
Mackenzie Drutowski: Now, as a practicing attorney looking back at law school, my time on the negotiations team was some of my best-spent time in law school.

Arbitration Competition

An invaluable three-year tradition
ArbitrationCaylan Devine Dunnells: The ABA Law Student Division Arbitration Competition was certainly my favorite moot court competition in law school. I competed three consecutive years, during one of which my team won the national title.

Client Counseling Competition

From an excuse to hang out to win after win
Kari SchmitzKari Schmitz: the ABA’s Client Counseling Competition allowed me to spotlight my ability to build relationships and connect with people. Winning showed my aptitude to successfully apply legal knowledge and practical skills to real-world problems with clients.

Student Lawyer Student Lawyer magazine provides guidance on educational, career, and related issues for ABA Law Student Division members and other subscribers. It is published four times a year by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Student Lawyer is available online to members of the ABA Law Student Division and to print subscribers.