Auckland Law School reaches semi-finals in the International Client Consultation Competition

01 May 2014
Client Interviewing team 2014(alt photo)
Luke Sizer, Alex Medalla Corona (Puerto Rican competitor), Robert Clarke (coach), Andrew McLeod.

Auckland Law School students performed strongly in the opening rounds of the International Client Consultation Competition (ICCC), entering the semi-final round undefeated with perfect scores in first-equal place.

Team members Andrew McLeod and Luke Sizer did well in their semi-final but after a very close decision, the Dutch team progressed through to the final where it lost to the team from the Republic of Ireland.

Andrew and Luke were selected to represent New Zealand in the world competition when they won the national Client Interviewing Competition sponsored by Russell McVeagh last year. They travelled to San Juan, Puerto Rico last month with their coach, Robert Clarke, who says the New Zealand team members handled themselves with enthusiasm and professionalism, and the considerable effort they put into their performance at the ICCC ensured New Zealand's strong tradition of achievement in the competition continued.

The trip was made possible with the generous support of the New Zealand Law Foundation, which has funded the attendance at the competition by New Zealand's national representatives for a number of years. The Faculty of Law Auckland University also provided valuable administrative support to the team.

The competition is designed to simulate a client consultation in a legal context. The lawyers are required to conduct an interview, often with little information as to the legal issues faced by their client, and then to provide some preliminary legal advice on their client's options. At the conclusion of the interview, the lawyers also conduct a "post-consultation" discussion between themselves where they cover the important issues that the interview raised and divide any work that the client needs done. In 2014, the theme of the competition was "Commercial Contracts".

The team found the ICCC was an invaluable experience for aspiring lawyers through the development of legal skills relevant to future practice, and through the opportunity to engage with lawyers and law students from other jurisdictions. Andrew and Luke took great interest in hearing how those jurisdictions would respond to the issues raised within the competition, and more generally how other legal systems operated.

They also enjoyed the opportunity to form friendships and take part in new experiences. Cultural highlights of the trip included a walking tour of the walled city of Old San Juan, and a kayaking trip through Puerto Rican mangrove swamps to a luminescent lake. The team hopes the friendships and experiences gained at the ICCC will assist in developing a network of associates across the globe, and encourage law students to get involved in their regional client Interviewing competitions.



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