UMKC Law Hosts ABA Client Counseling Competition

On Saturday, February 4, the law school hosted the regionals for the ABA Client Counseling Competition. Under the direction of Professor Meg Reuter, and the assistance of Cara McLaughlin and Sara Holdmeyer of Bryan Cave, UMKC Law students went up against ten other teams from all over the country.

Eleven teams from Arkansas, Denver, Seattle, St. Louis, University Missouri Columbia, and Oklahoma competed in the ABA Client Counseling Competition.  The competition is designed around a simulated law office consultation in which law students assume the role of an attorney presented with a client issue.  Using skills learned in class and practice sessions with coaches and peers, students interview and counsel the client about possible solutions to the hypothetical situation. The topic for this year’s competition was privacy law. 

Over fifty alumni and friends of the law school judged rounds of the competition or played the role of clients. The final round was judged by The Honorable Stephen Bough, U.S. District Judge for the Western District of Missouri; The Honorable Ann Mesle, retired judge of the 16th Judicial Circuit; and Professor Leon Probasco of the Masters in Social Work program of Park University. 

UMKC’s team performed well under the direction of Professor Meg Reuter, with the assistant coaching from third-year law student Cara McLaughlin and Sara Holdmeyer of Bryan Cave (J.D. ‘2016).  The first-year team of Ford Miller and Devon Tarantino are both excited to compete again next year as our “senior team.”  Both of UMKC Law  “senior teams”  advanced to the semi-final round.  The team composed of Desiree Walden (2L) and Robert Chastain (2L) met the team that eventually won the tournament and were eliminated in a close match. Diane Plantz (1L) and Annie Griffin (2L) advanced to the final round where they met the teams from the Universities of Oklahoma and Missouri. 

The ABA Client Counseling Competition provides a tremendous learning opportunity for the students. Participants are able to show their professionalism and experience connecting with clients to prepare them for practice.

After an hour, the judges announced the winner from the University of Missouri School of Law (Columbia). The students had previously competed the year before, back for a return engagement.

Published: Feb 8, 2017