RALEIGH – Campbell Law School advocates have proven once again that when it comes the National American Bar Association (ABA) ) Client Counseling Competition, Campbell Law teams are going to rise to the top.
True to form, second-year law students Miriam Sheppard and Tabitha Cooke earned their way into the national final round on March 20, 2021, ultimately finishing third. The dynamic duo won the Regional Championship on Feb. 6 marking the third year in a row Campbell Law advocates have won this particular regional championship.
“Please take time to congratulate Tabitha Cooke and Miriam Sheppard on their win – it was a hard-fought competition and they performed amazingly, especially as 2Ls in a predominantly 3L competition,” said Professor Tony Ghiotto, director of the law school’s award-winning Advocacy Program.
Zack Anstett ’18, whose team came in second at regionals in 2017, has served as a coach for the Campbell Law School Client Counseling Team for the past two years. This year he was joined by fellow Campbell Law School alumna Skylar Gallagher ‘19, an attorney at Brown, Crump, Vanore & Tierney, LLP, to help coach the team. Anstett, an attorney in the Raleigh office of Cranfill Sumner LLP, served on the Client Counseling team while in law school.
“In their feedback, the judges had nothing but praise for our team’s performance,” Anstett said.
Campbell Law served as a host for this year’s regional competition that was held virtually for the first time via Zoom. “We hosted nine teams, 27 judges, countless clients and student ambassadors and more Zoom rooms than we care to remember,” Ghiotto said. “The end result, though, was a stellar competition that allowed students to enhance their ability to counsel clients.”
In 2020, Campbell Law’s client counseling team of Amber Younce ’21 and Grace Massarelli ’21, also coached by Anstett, won the Regional Championship and made it to the semi-finals in the first-ever virtual national competition in March 2020.
In 2019, the team of Tatiana Terry (’19) and Katie Webb Miller (’19) won the Regional, National and World Championship titles under the guidance of coaches Dean Emerita and Professor Melissa Essary and Professor Jon Powell ’98.
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.
This year’s competition focused on the area of entertainment and amateur sports. The ABA Client Counseling competition addresses fundamental skills necessary for all successful attorneys, namely the ability to interview, advise and support a client through their legal issues. 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.
The last time Campbell Law served as regional host for the ABA Client Counseling Competition was 2015, when then second-year Campbell Law students Mary Frances Dudley ‘16 and Sloan Smith ‘16 earned the win to move on to the national competition that year.
In 2013, two teams of students from Campbell Law offered strong showings at the ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition for the Southeast Region. Wes Saunders and Jessica Yount finished both the preliminary and semifinal rounds in first place, ultimately taking third overall. Andrew Evans and Molly Hilburn-Holte also performed admirably, missing the semifinal cut by just one point and placing seventh overall.
“I am immensely proud of the efforts of our ABA Client Counseling advocates and their coaches,” said Campbell Law Dean J. Rich Leonard. “They are always exceptionally prepared, poised and on top of their game. I look forward to seeing them accomplish even more in future competitions.”
ABOUT CAMPBELL LAW
Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2021, Campbell Law is celebrating 45 years of graduating legal leaders and a dozen years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.