April 4, 2011
Cooley National Champions Prepare for International Client Counseling Competition
After besting teams from 95 U.S. law schools with a first place finish in the American Bar Association's (ABA) National Client Counseling Competition in March, Erin Moss and LaToya Palmer, students at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School's Auburn Hills campus, will compete for the International Client Consultation Competition, beginning on Wednesday, April 6. The competition will take place at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, wrapping up on Saturday, April 9.
Cooley's team of Erin Moss and LaToya Palmer, first place champions in the American Bar Association's (ABA) Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition.
Simulating a law office consultation, the competition puts law students, acting as attorneys, together with a "client" seeking legal expertise. The students are given very little information about the consultation before the client’s arrival and are asked to conduct an interview with the client. They brainstorm with him or her to explore possible legal options to help the client achieve his or her goals.
Competition judges evaluate the students' ability to establish an appropriate working atmosphere, listen, understand the client's perspective, analyze the problem, and present various courses of action consistent with the client’s goals and objectives.
"I think our success is due to the chemistry that we have together," said Moss. "We were told by the coaches and other competitors after the national competition that we set a certain tone in the room that made the client very comfortable and allowed him to open up." And although they have been successful in past competitions, both students are also preparing to face some new challenges at the international competition.
"The focus of the competition is professional responsibility, so I think one of the main challenges will be trying to understand what other schools and other countries are expecting in regard to professional responsibility," said Palmer. "There are so many people coming from different cultures and different backgrounds. It’s hard to understand what the judging criteria are going to be."
To give the students a proper send-off, Cooley Law School held a pep rally for Moss and Palmer on Thursday, March 31 to cheer on the 2010-2011 Client Counseling Competition National Champions.
"The emphasis that Cooley places on professional responsibility issues in its substantive law classes prepared the students and allowed them to excel in the competition," said Church, Cooley professor and assistant dean of programs, planning and assessment. "We are extremely proud of both students and are looking forward to the International competition."
Cooley Law School is the largest law school in the nation. Founded in 1972, the private, non-profit law school operates J.D. programs across Michigan in Lansing, Auburn Hills, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Today, Cooley Law School has more than 15,000 graduates across the nation and worldwide and also offers joint degree and master of laws programs. Cooley offers enrollment three times a year; in January, May and September. Additional information about Cooley can be found at cooley.edu.