03.01.12 — A Northeastern University School of Law student team took first place in the regional American Bar Association (ABA) Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition held February 11 in Boston. The students, Moriah Silver ’14 and John Naranja ’14, will advance to the national finals in Durham, North Carolina, on March 16-17.

The Client Counseling Competition simulates a law office consultation in which law students, acting as attorneys, are presented with a client matter. Each team consists of two students who conduct a joint interview with a person playing the role of the client. This includes establishing rapport, eliciting facts, clarifying client goals, advising about or agreeing to investigate the relevant law, providing options for proceeding, and assisting the client to make an informed choice.

The regional competition consisted of three qualifying rounds for 12 teams, with each team competing indirectly against one or two other teams in each round. The teams were presented with a different client matter in each round and were judged by a panel of three lawyers. The highest ranking teams from each regional competition advance to the national finals. 

“They did a wonderful job and deserve to be congratulated for their hard work, teamwork and poise,” said Professor Brook Baker, who coached the team. “It’s unusual for first-year students to compete at all, let alone successfully. Their victory is a testament to the skills they already had and their constant practice to improve them.”