Law Students are Regional Champions
Two third year law students, Sarah Deakin and Emma Nielson, beat off stiff competition to become Regional Champions of the Client Interviewing Competition in Sheffield on Saturday.
This long-established law school skills competition sponsored by the Law Society, Lexis Nexis and national law firm Irwin Mitchell, saw 36 law schools entering the 2015 competition, the largest number in the 30 years it has been running.
Sarah and Emma have recently completed a Clinical Legal Skills module based in the Liverpool Law School’s Law Clinic. Whilst working in the Law Clinic they were responsible for running their own client case under the supervision of the Clinic’s own in-house solicitors as well as an external supervisor, Richard Bennett, a partner at local commercial law firm, Bennett Williams. Having observed their client interview, Richard described it as the best he had seen in the many years he has been volunteering at the Liverpool Law Clinic, ““The students were excellent and the biggest compliment I can pay them is to say I would be comfortable putting them in front of our commercial clients. The future is bright!”
The competition aims to encourage the promotion and development of the skills involved with client interviewing within an educational context. It is an annual event which focuses on the invaluable skills of interviewing and counselling and centres on a simulated law office interview. Law students, working in teams of two, interview and advise a “client” -a role-playing actor. They are assessed according to clearly described criteria which take into account interpersonal skills as well as their ability to handle a legal problem. The prime aim of this competition is to promote the development of lawyers' soft skills and to enable law students to practise them at a high level.
Dr Sarah Woodhouse, the Liverpool Law Clinic Director was delighted with the result, “These students worked hard to prepare for the competition; their natural flair was honed by Christine Ball, one of our in-house solicitors, who ably supported them in this endeavour. We are delighted that the Clinic's high standards have been recognised in this regional competition especially as it was our first ever entry. We have high hopes for the finals! “
Sarah and Emma will go on to compete in the national finals at the University of Sussex with a chance of competing to represent their country in the International Client Consultation Competition, which this time is being held in April 2015 at the University of Nebraska.