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Washburn Law Seeks Volunteers for American Bar Association Client Counseling Competition

     Topeka, Kan. – Washburn University School of Law is seeking volunteers to serve as judges and clients for the American Bar Association Law Student Division Regional Client Counseling Competition on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 at the law school. Washburn Law will be hosting teams of law students from Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota who will exhibit their skills in client interviewing.

     Volunteer judges should have experience as either attorneys or helping professionals such as psychologists, social workers, counselors, ministers or similar professions. Volunteer clients can be anyone who can read and digest one to two pages of facts and then play the role of that particular client. Volunteers are needed for three timeslots: 7:30 a.m. to noon; noon to 3 p.m.; and 3-7 p.m.

     Panels of two attorneys and one helping professional will grade participants based upon 11 distinct facets of professional legal interviewing skills. These volunteer judges will receive a summary of the hypothetical client problem(s) that includes judging guidance and scoring information in advance of the event. Volunteer clients will receive a one- to two-page summary of facts from which to play the client. Additional guidance will be given to all volunteers the day of the event. 

     This competition provides students with a unique opportunity to develop practical skills that will enable them to become proficient client advocates. Judges not only grade the competitors, but also use this as an opportunity to teach students effective client interviewing and counseling skills by providing constructive criticism and feedback after each competition round. This is an excellent opportunity for members of the legal community to actively instruct and participate in the development of the next generation of lawyers.

     For more information or to volunteer visit washburnlaw.edu/regionalclientcounseling or contact Freddy Sourgens, professor of law and event co-director at 785.670.1772 or freddy.sourgens@washburn.edu; John Francis, professor of law and event co-director at 785.670.1685 or john.francis@washburn.edu; or Donna Vilander, assistant event director, at 785.670.1105 or donna.vilander@washburn.edu.   

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