Photograph: Eagle statue outside law school.

Client Counseling Competition

The Client Counseling Competition is intended to serve as a teaching tool to give law students the opportunity to role-play and develop the skills necessary to do an effective initial interview and intake process with new clients. The scenario gives a team of two law students the opportunity to interview and complete the intake process with a client/actor over a 30-minute period. The team then has a 15-minute period to review what they have done and to establish the follow up activities that will need to take place after the initial interview. Going in to the interview, the student lawyer team will only have a sentence or two describing the client’s initial complaint. The team is forced to ask questions and develop a professional relationship with the client in order to get all of the necessary information to be able to evaluate the situation and to determine whether they may be able to serve the client’s needs and in what way that might be able to happen. Washburn Law annually selects and fields two teams in the regional competition held at a different Midwest law school each year.

What are the benefits of participating in the Competition?

A win in an ABA/LSD lawyering skills competition is always a conversation opener when you go to interview with any firm or organization for employment. Many employers want to see this kind of evidence that law students are involved in educating themselves and developing skills necessary in the practice of law. Members of the top team from the Washburn Competition also qualify to enroll in the Client Counseling course for one hour of credit with the only additional requirement being the drafting of a memorandum regarding the relevant area of law from the competition. So instead of taking extra time out of your schedule, you may actually be able to run the effort into another credit towards your degree.

How does one become a member?

Try-outs and selections for the teams are held each Fall generally in November through an in school competition process. Information on the specific date and process to try-out is sent out via e-mail to all students in advance of the try-out competition date.

How much time will participation require?

All students who participate on our competition teams will prepare for their competition with multiple practices each week in the month or months leading up to the particular competition. The time and energy required varies, depending on each individual's preparation and work habits during the practice sessions. Practices are scheduled to work with multiple student obligations and to students to successfully balance membership on the competition team with other demanding law school activities and outside obligations.

For more information on the ABA/LSD Client Counseling Competition at Washburn Law contact us at:

Washburn University School of Law
Coach Shawn Leisinger
1700 SW College Avenue
Topeka, KS 66621
(785) 670-2464

Adjunct Coach
Photograph: Shawn Leisinger.
Shawn Leisinger
Executive Director,
Centers for Excellence
Faculty Member
Photograph: Freddy Sourgens.

Frédéric G. Sourgens
Associate Professor of Law