Aberdeen law students to put their client counselling skills to the test

Two students from the University of Aberdeen Law School will represent Scotland at a prestigious Client Counselling competition this week.

Jennifer Baird and Euan Thompson, who have just completed their Diploma in Professional Legal Practice will travel to the University of Kent today (Wednesday) to take part in the three-day Brown Mosten International Client Consultation Competition (ICCC) competition, after emerging triumphant in the Scottish heats earlier this year at Strathclyde University.

The Brown Mosten Competition is an annual event which sees law students from around the world competing against each other.

The Competition simulates a law office consultation in which two law students, acting as lawyers, are presented with a client matter. The students are given a brief written memorandum that identifies the general nature of the client’s problem before the interviews are held. The students conduct an interview with a person playing the role of the client. Students are expected to elicit the relevant information from the client, explain the relevant laws, present the client with their options, and assist the client to select their preferred resolution. The interview with the client is then followed by a post-consultation period during which the students analyse the interview and discuss the work to be undertaken. The interview and post-consultation period last a total of 45 minutes. The students are evaluated against specific criteria that emphasize the use of listening, questioning, planning, and analytical skills in a lawyer/client interview.

Jennifer and Euan will be pitted against teams from 20 other countries and will have their skills tested in interviewing their client, fully understanding their client’s legal problem (and ensuring they have elicit sufficient information from them to establish this), building a professional relationship within the 45 minute interview, as well as reflecting on this initial consultation and devising additional questions and issues they may need to address to take the case forward.

Dr Susan Stokeld from the Law School will travel with the duo to the competition. She said: “I am absolutely delighted that Jennifer and Euan have reached this stage of the competition – it is wonderful to be representing Scotland against teams from around the world.

“The competition provides an exciting opportunity for law students to learn and practice interviewing and counselling skills, as well as to meet young lawyers from an amazing range of nations and cultures.

“We are all extremely proud of Jennifer and Euan, and I look forward to seeing them in action this week.”