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Client Counseling Competition

William & Mary team

William and Mary Law School’s Katheryn Maldonado and Nick Armah won the 2020-2021 ABA Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition—held this year via Zoom.

About the Client Counseling Competition

The Client Counseling competition addresses fundamental skills necessary for all successful attorneys, namely the ability to interview, counsel, and support a client through their legal issue.  Competitors conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and then address both the client’s legal and non-legal needs.  Students are called on to explain various aspects  of the attorney-client relationship, build rapport, determine client goals, and consider applicable law and options that may be available to the client.

Please send any questions to competitions@americanbar….

2020-2021 Registration Information

The ABA Law Student Division Competition Registration is now open! These practical skills competitions offer students an opportunity to hone the skills that students will use as a practitioner through intraschool, regional, and national competitions.

All regional and national competitions for 2020-21 will be held remotely. Reserve your team’s spot today.

2020-21 Topic: Entertainment & Amateur Sports

Entry Fee:
First Team: $200
Second Team: $175
Third Team: $175 (if space is available)

*All schools may register up to two teams before the registration deadline and may request a third team that will be allowed where space is available. Notices about which requested third teams will be able to compete will be sent out mid to late November. The registration fee for each approved third team will be due within one week of receiving the notification.

2020-21 Client Counseling Dates and Locations


2020-2021 Host Schools

Syracuse University College of LawUniversity of North Carolina School of LawUniversity of Houston Law Center
University of Nebraska College of LawSt. Marys University School of LawUniversity of Oregon School of Law
Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law SchoolLouisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center<br />
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law
University of Missouri School of LawLiberty University School of Law 

Client Counseling Problems and Final Round Recordings

Recent problems and final round recordings are also now available at no cost. These resources may be downloaded and shared within your school for educational purposes. Downloadable and viewing links can be found here.


Client Counseling Competition Finalists


Competition Rules and Guidelines


Regional Host School Rotation

The Client Counseling Competition depends on law schools to host the regional competitions. To create a fair rotation of this responsibility we have created the Host Rotation Schedule and assigned participating schools to upcoming years. Please review this rotation to see when your school is assigned to host. If you cannot host in the year assigned, please contact

2017-2021 Client Counseling Regional Host Rotation Schedule*

*Schools listed in the rotation schedule are not confirmed hosts. Please see the 2020-21 Client Counseling Dates and Locations for this year’s host schools.


Regional Assignments

Each registered law school must rank their regional preference for Host Schools. The Law Student Division will use its best efforts to assign each school to its first or second choice. Priority will be given to those schools in geographic proximity of their first or second choice.

Each school will receive official notification of its regional assignment. Participants should not make travel plans until they have received their official regional assignment from the ABA Law Student Division and confirmation of the competition dates from the regional Host School. Competition Dates and Locations Host Dates and Locations will be posted as they are finalized throughout the summer.


Competition Format & Team Composition

A team consists of two JD candidates attending the same ABA-approved law school. The regional competition consists of three qualifying rounds with each team competing indirectly against one or two other teams in each round. The teams are presented with a different client matter in each round. After the qualifying rounds, the top six teams advance to the semifinal round, culminating with the three winning teams in the final round.