UH Manoa School of Law hosts 15 nations at annual International Client Counseling Competition

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Jamee Kunichika, (808) 956-5516
Director of Alumni Relations
Laurie Tochiki, (808) 956-7986
Assistant Dean
Posted: Apr 6, 2005

HONOLULU — Over the next few days, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s William S. Richardson School of Law will host the International Client Counseling Competition. Participating countries for the 2005 competition are Australia, Canada, England and Wales, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Each participating country will be entering one law school team. The University of Nevada at Las Vegas, the team that won the regional competition held here in February, and who went on to win the national competition in March, represents the United States.

On Thursday, April 7, the participants will be honored at the State Legislature and the Governor will declare Thursday and Friday to be International Client Counseling Competition Days in Hawaiʻi. On Friday afternoon, the preliminary rounds will take place in the law school classrooms, and the semi-final and final rounds will take place on Saturday. The final round on Saturday afternoon starting at 1:30 p.m. is open to the public and will take place in the Moot Court Room.

Each year, schools from all over the world compete in a simulated law office consultation. The competition was founded in 1985 and the Client Counseling Competition was invented in 1969 by Louis M. Brown, "The Father of Preventive Law," and started by the American Bar Association in 1973.

A team of two law students, acting in the role of lawyers (attorneys/solicitors/legal practitioners) is presented with a client matter. The two law students conduct an interview for about 30 minutes with a person playing the role of a client. In a post-consultation session lasting about 15 minutes, the law students may summarize the interview, indicate the scope of the legal work to be done, and state any issues that should be researched.

Competing teams are judged on various factors that emphasize the use of listening, questioning, and analytical skills. The competition promotes greater knowledge and interest among law students in the preventative law and counseling functions of law practice. It encourages law students to develop interviewing, planning, and analytical skills in the lawyer-client relationship as well as collaboration among students who work as a team.

The competition has annually brought together law students, law professors, and legal practitioners from the United States and other countries for the past 20 years. The competition has been providing an opportunity for valuable educational and cultural interchange among the participants. Host locations for recent annual competitions have been Scotland (2004), South Africa (2003), Florida (2002), New Zealand (2001), and Northern Ireland (2000), with upcoming competitions being planned for Wales (2006), Hong Kong (2007), and Canada (2008).