WMU-Cooley Team Wins National ABA Competition
Competition Tests Skills in Counseling Scenario
March 17, 2015 - WMU-Cooley Law students Elizabeth and Bryan Devolder took first place at the American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition National Finals on March 14 held at North Carolina Central University School of Law, and were named National Champions. The Devolders, a husband and wife team who attend Cooley’s Tampa Bay campus, will move on to compete at the Louis M. Brown and Forrest S. Mosten International Client Consultation Competition in April, representing all U.S. law schools in this international competition.
The ABA Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. They conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client and then explain how they would proceed further in the hypothetical situation.
"We are extremely proud of Elizabeth and Bryan for bringing the national championship in the ABA Client Counseling Competition back to WMU-Cooley Law School, a title the school last held in 2011,” said Christine Church, WMU-Cooley associate dean. “They were outstanding all the way through the competition. One judge applauded at the end of the round, which I've not seen before at a national competition. Another judge said ‘I would hire you’ at the end of the round.”
A total of 108 teams from 66 ABA-approved law schools participated in 12 regional competitions held across the nation in February. The regional champions advanced to the national championship round. Following the victorious WMU-Cooley team were Southern Methodist University in second place and the University of Oklahoma in third place.
Before heading to national finals, the WMU-Cooley duo bested teams from the University of Michigan, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Akron, the University of Louisville, Duquesne University, and Northern Kentucky University. WMU-Cooley’s regional championship in this competition was its seventh in 10 years.
The International Client Consultation Competition will be held April 15-18 in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the University of Nebraska College of Law.
About Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School: Western Michigan University and Thomas M. Cooley Law School affiliated in 2014, combining the status of a nationally-ranked, public, comprehensive research university with the commitment to practical legal education of an independent, non-profit, national law school. WMU-Cooley is accredited by both the American Bar Association and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. The law school has provided nearly 20,000 graduates with the practical skills necessary for a seamless transition from academia to the real world, and enrolls classes in January, May, and September at its Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids, Michigan campuses, and its Tampa Bay, Florida campus. WMU and the law school continue to operate as independent institutions with their own governance structure and separate fiduciary responsibilities.