Client Consultation Competition
What the Brown-Mosten competition is about
A client consultation 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. The team is given about 30 minutes to conduct the interview and is expected to
- Elicit the relevant information from the client.
- Explore the preferred outcome.
- Outline the nature of the problem.
- Present the client with a means (or range of alternatives, if appropriate) for resolving the problem.
All this should be done in accordance with their own national law (that is, the law of the jurisdiction where their university or law school is situated). The interview is concluded by a post-consultation “wrap up” in absence of the client. Additional information on the competition can be found on www.brownmosten.com, with numerous links to other sites.
What client consultation is about
Lawyers in practice spend most of their time gathering and interpreting facts and then helping clients to make informed decisions. To be effective interviewers, advisers, counselors and lawyers need to recognize and appreciate the client, not just as a legal problem, but as a person with a legal problem. Therefore, they need to be able to:
- Establish a good and professional working relationship with clients.
- Understand how clients view their problems.
- Appreciate the client’s needs and expectations.
- Explore the available options and consider the consequences.
- Develop strategies to help clients resolve their problems.
- Recognize moral and ethical issues and deal with them.
How the performance of student teams is assessed
The students’ performance is assessed by a jury of two practising lawyers and a counselor (e.g. social worker, psychologist). The students are evaluated according to specific criterions that focus on the listening, questioning, planning and analytical skills of the students. In the Dutch national competition, they are graded on a scale of -2 to +2 for each of eleven criterions.
History of the ABA International Client Consultation Competition (ICCC)
The ABA/Louis M Brown Forest S. Mosten International Client Consulation Competition provides an opportunity for law students to learn and practice these interviewing and counseling skills. In 1969 Louis M. Brown established a Client Counseling Competition for law students which was adopted by The American Bar Association in 1972. The International Competition was inaugurated in 1985 and now brings together the winning teams of law students from national competitions in − amongst others − the United States, Canada, England and Wales, Scotland, Australia, New Zealand, Eire and Northern Ireland, India, Russia, Nigeria, Turkey, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, The Netherlands, Ukraine, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Puerto Rico. The International Competition was named after Louis M Brown in 1993 in recognition of the inspiration provided by the originator of the competition. The winners’ names are inscribed on the Louis M Brown plaque awarded as the competition trophy. The winners also receive prizes donated by the International Bar Association.
Louis M Brown died in 1996 – the competition lives on as a tribute to him. Already during his lifetime, the competition has been organized under the inspiring aegis of Forest S Mosten and his wife Jody. In his honour, the Annual General Meeting decided in 2010 to change the official name of the competition to the Louis M Brown Forest S Mosten International Client Consultation Competition. The official website of the competition is www.brownmosten.com
National selection The Netherlands 2018
The national selection for The Netherlands is hosted by the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University. Registration is open for student teams of all law faculties of the Netherlands. The winning team will represent the Netherlands in the international finals, which will also be hosted by the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University (see www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/iccc2018 for the attractive program).
Topic, Locations and Dates
2018 Competition Topic (national and international):
Contracts: Mistakes and other bases for non-performance
2018 Calendar of Events National Selection:
November 1, 2017
Registration by e-mail opens (see below for details)
November 23, 2017, 6-8 pm (Maastricht teams only)
Introduction of client interviewing for Maastricht teams/Explanation of the preselection procedure
Faculty of Law, Maastricht University, Bouillonstraat 3, Maastricht
December 1, 2017 (Friday)
Registration deadline (closes at 12 am)
December 9, 2017, schedule from 9 am-6 pm
Selection interviews for Maastricht teams
Faculty of Law, D. 0.202
January 27, 2018 (Saturday)
National selection in two rounds
Maastricht, Faculty of Law
April 11-14, 2018
ICCC 2018 International Finals, Faculty of Law, Maastricht
Participation is open for all law students studying in The Netherlands (university or college), regardless of their nationality. Each team member has to be registered as a law student at the date of the national finals.
Entry fee: The entry fee for all non-Maastricht teams is € 50,- per student team. The fee has to be paid within a week after receiving payment instructions. The fee will be reimbursed when the team withdraws before January 8, 2018.
Registration by email only has to be sent to fokke.fernhout[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl, specifying for each team member first and last names, address, e-mail address, phone number and faculty (university, college or law program (law school), year of study).
If the number of teams exceeds the organizational capacity of the Faculty of Law, a maximum of 2 teams per law program (law school) will be set (6 for Maastricht as host). Each law program will have to determine for itself which teams will be sent as representing that law program.
NB: Only teams can register; registration is not open to individual students. Individual students without a team mate can ask to be put on a list and will be brought into contact with other students on that list.
For Maastricht teams only:
By registering, each team of Maastricht University expressly declares a) to be available in the period between January 9, 2018, and the national selection to attend interviewing training sessions, b) to accept directions from the coach regarding the preparation for the national selection and possibly the international finals, c) to be available to attend the international finals from the beginning to the end, d) to be available on Saturday, December 9, 2017, for the preselection.
Registration has to be accompanied by a motivation letter written by the team members together. The motivation letter should also mention whether the team members (together or separately) did participate in or register for this or any other student competition before and with what result.
From the video registration of the interviews during the preselection and the motivation letters, the teams representing the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University at the national finals of January 27, 2018, will be selected. If no teams from other faculties will register, the preselection will determine which team will go to the international finals.
Fokke Fernhout (043-3882774, 0614101042)