Fellow blogger Gudnuff asked some good questions about the Client Counseling Competition so I thought I would address them in another post.

Client counseling is a skill some lawyers regularly do. I first learned about it in our legal research and writing class because we had to practice interviewing each other and suggest avenues of potential action. It makes complete sense that a lawyer would interview a client, however I never really thought of it as a learned skill before law school. Lawyers are always meeting with clients so it makes sense to think about and practice how you would organize an initial interview.

The competition had no affect on our grades. If you won or advanced to the next level I suppose it gave you bragging rights. My partner and I didn't spend too much time preparing for it and overall it was a good experience. The judges gave us good feedback on how well we questioned, listened and put our client at ease. I know that I don't take criticism well so it was an opportunity to receive some good constructive criticism and continue to learn how to accept it gracefully.

I'm all about putting myself in uncomfortable positions. I'm not the best at networking so the more I put myself into awkward shoes, the more I learn how to relax and network in a non-cheesy fashion. One of the judges was an attorney that talked to us earlier in the semester about an externship I was interested in. Because he was there and I recognized him I was able to ask him more questions about the externship and continue to get face time with him. So I suppose the competition was worth it just for that.

Again, I would recommend it to all law students if you have the opportunity. It was fun to talk with local attorneys and get to know my partner better. If anything it's an excuse to wear a suit!


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