On Saturday, Feb.13, 2016, the Mercer Law Client Counseling team of third-year students Ebony Brown, and Diego Cardenas won the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition in Orlando, Florida. In addition, Mercer Law had two other teams perform well: second-year students Amber Robinson and Ian McIntyre; and Mandisa Styles and Roland Weekley. Styles and Weekley reached the semi-finals of the competition and placed 6th overall. Brown and Cardenas defeated two teams from Stetson in the finals, and will advance to the ABA National Client Counseling Competition in April.
Coach Zandra Hall, ’15, said that she was honored to have served as coach for this talented group of competitors, and thanked all those in the Mercer Law community who helped them prepare for the competition. Hall also thanked Professor Tim Floyd and Dean Daisy Floyd, “who make sure that teaching practical skills such as client counseling are a staple at Mercer Law.”
The 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. 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.