McGeorge School of Law

Another McGeorge team heads to national competition

March 2, 2020

University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law continues on its past successes in American Bar Association (ABA) competitions. The school will once again send a team to compete at the national level, this time in Client Interviewing and Counseling.

On Feb. 15–16, two teams of McGeorge law students competed in the regional ABA competition hosted by Lewis & Clark College of Law: Camille Reid and Juliana Combs, and Whitney Jenkins and Leslie Anne Salvador. Team member Rebal Halabi worked with coach Kathleen Friedrich, adjunct professor of law, to prepare and provide feedback to the students at the competition. In addition, Matthew Buelow was a member of the Client Interviewing and Counseling team and professors Melissa Brown and Mike Mireles helped prepare the teams for their competition.

The team of Reid and Combs won the regional competition, and the team of Jenkins and Salvador had a strong showing, sweeping through two rounds of competition. Congratulations to the students and coaches who put in tremendous work to compete and achieve successes at this year’s regionals.

Reid and Combs will go on to compete against 11 other regional winners from across the country in the national competition at Quinnipiac University in North Haven, CT, March 20–21.

"I’m so proud of this year’s teams,” Friedrich said. “These six students put in a lot of hard work during practices so they were well prepared for the competition. Indeed, the judges complimented our teams on their professionalism and their deep knowledge of the law of estate planning (this year’s competition topic). Our performance this weekend demonstrates the quality of McGeorge students and the strength of our academic programs."

The contributions and dedication from McGeorge’s team and coaches played a significant role in the regional win, Friedrich said. The six team members practiced with one another from October 2019 up until the day before the regional competition. And both Brown and Mireles spent several hours with the students further examining and reviewing the consultation memos, not only adding their perspective and expertise on the potential issues raised in the memos, but also reviewing the relevant law surrounding these issues.

McGeorge’s client interviewing and counseling competition team program prepares law students for effective client communication to support a client through their legal issue. During the regional and national competitions, sponsored by the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association, two-member teams 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.