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Students Take Second Place at ABA Regional Client Counseling Competition

Professor Liz Kukura with Finalist team at Regional ABA Client Counseling Competition 2019

February 12, 2019

The law school hosted the American Bar Association Regional Client Counseling Competition on Feb. 8-9, when a team of Kline students advanced to the Finals.

2L Olivia Hester, 3L Matt Kelley and 3L Hemna Chaudry (as alternate) took second place in the competition, which tests students’ abilities to provide appropriate counseling in simulations where attorneys pose as clients and other attorneys judge their performance.

Students are evaluated for their interviewing skills, the counsel they provide and for the self-assessment they give of their own performance after the clients depart.

Eight teams participated in the regional competition, which was the first time Kline served as the host.

The competition tests critical skills that a lawyer brings to every interaction with a client, including the vast number of conversations that never lead to a trial, Dean Daniel Filler said as he welcomed the teams.

“If you can do this well, you’ll transform more lives and solve more problems than any Supreme Court lawyer,” Filler said.

ADR Team and volunteers at 2019 Regional ABA Client Counseling CompetitionBoth Kline teams that took part made a strong showing, said Professor Nancy Kraybill, faculty adviser to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Competition Team – the school’s newest co-curricular.

“Our students performed admirably in a very challenging competition,” Kraybill said. “It was thrilling to see Matt and Olivia advance to the Finals, and our all-2L team of Paige Joffe and Isabella Pimentel did a wonderful job.”

Professor Liz Kukura, who coached the students, provided exceptional guidance to both teams, Kraybill added.

“It is a challenge to host a competition for the first time,” Kraybill said. “Luckily, the entire ADR team, led by 3L Becky Kistler, helped keep things running smoothly.”

Kraybill also voiced gratitude for the work done by alumni and other Philadelphia attorneys who served as clients and judges in the competition, including two former Philadelphia Bar Association chancellors: Gabriel Bevilacqua, of counsel at Saul Ewing, and Edward F. Chacker of Gay & Chacker.