Campbell Law advocates are once again making history: this time by competing for a national championship virtually.
Second-year law students Grace Massarelli and Amber Younce won the Regional American Bar Association (ABA) Client Counseling Competition on Feb. 8 in Knoxville, Tennessee. That meant the team and their coach — Zack Anstett ’18 of Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP — were headed to the National Finals for ABA Client Counseling Competition on March 20-21 in Connecticut.
But a lot has changed since February including all law schools and universities in the country pivoting to online learning in the wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Like in-person classes, most mock trial and moot court competitions have been cancelled.
The ABA, however, decided to allow schools willing to participate virtually in the national Client Counseling Competition finals to do so over a three-week period beginning this weekend.
“A big thanks to Professor Dan Tilly for letting the team use all of the technology in the Boyce Advocacy Center,” Anstett said during a break in the competition on Saturday, March 21. “The Advocacy Center resources has helped make our team’s participation in this competition seamless.”
This year’s competition focuses on the area of estate planning. Students are called on to explain various aspects of the attorney-client relationship, build rapport, determine client goals and consider applicable law and options that may be available to the client.
The ABA Client Counseling competition addresses fundamental skills necessary for all successful attorneys, namely the ability to interview, counsel, and support a client through their legal issue. Competitors conduct an initial interview with a person playing the role of the client and then address both the client’s legal and non-legal needs.
Last year, Campbell Law’s client counseling team consisting of Tatiana Terry (’19) and Katie Webb Miller (’19) won the Regional, National and World Championship titles. This year’s International Championship, which would have been held in Florida, has been cancelled.