Competitions: Latest News and Results
The ADR Board administers the following ABA Law Student Division competitions in Negotiation, Client Counseling, and Representation in Mediation by organizing in-house competitions in the fall and spring of each academic year. The competitions provide simulation which allows students to conduct mock client interviews; as well as learning to represent clients and solve disputes through negotiation or mediation. In addition to this experience, students receive valuable feedback from local practitioners, acting as judges of the competition, which allows them to further develop their skills.
As noted in the Seattle University School of Law Student Handbook, 1L's are only permitted to compete in one in-house competition per year. Accordingly, 1L's must choose only one competition from amongst the three ADR hosted competitions and the Moot Court Board's 1L Administrative Law Mock Trial.
Client Counseling Competition
The Client Counseling Competition is structured to simulate an initial client interview. Teams of two students, acting as attorneys, meet a perspective client for the first time and discuss with the client the client’s concerns. The students work to gather enough information and uncover enough relevant facts to determine the client’s legal issues. Competitors are critiqued on their communication skills, their ability to analyze the client's problem, and their ability to work well together in accomplishing their goals.
This competition does not require in-depth knowledge of the substantive law and is open to all students. It offers students their first exposure to client advocacy in a "real world" setting. Practitioners act as judges and provide instant feedback to the participants.
Being a Mock Client for the Competition
The Client Counseling Competition is made possible by students who volunteer to act as mock clients during the competition. Mock clients are provided background information on the competition problem and get to act out how they think a real client would act. Student volunteers get the opportunity to experience the competition without having to compete. Volunteering as a mock client is great for 1L students, because it is a great experience and does not count as competing for school requirements.
Those students interested in becoming a mock client should check the upcoming events page for the date of the Client Counseling Competition and contact the VP of In-House Competitions for information on volunteering.
The Negotiation Competition simulates a real negotiation between two parties. Two teams of two students, acting as attorneys, negotiate a problem. The teammates work together to represent their absent clients issues, needs, and problems against the opposing team. Teams work to achieve the best deal for their client and to learn the relevant facts from the opposing team. Competitors are critiqued on their communication skills with co-counsel and opposing counsel, their ability to analyze the problem, and their ability to work well with their teammate. The goal is to demonstrate their skills to a panel of judges.
This competition does not require in-depth knowledge of the substantive law and is open to all students. It offers students their first exposure to negotiation in a "real world" setting. Practitioners act as judges and provide instant feedback to the participants.
Representation in Meditation Competition
A team of two students, one as an attorney and one as a client, simulate a meeting in a mediation setting with another team. The two teams work with the help of a professional mediator to resolve the issues between the clients on each team. Teammates work together to learn relevant legal facts from the opposing team and to attempt to reach an agreement in the best interest of the client. Professional mediators facilitate the discussion between the teams to work towards an agreeable solution. This competition gives students the opportunity to experience client advocacy, both as the attorney and as the client, in a format that is growing more prevalent in the legal community. Competitors are critiqued on their communication skills, their ability to analyze both clients’ problems, and their ability to work well together in accomplishing their goals.
This competition does not require in-depth knowledge of the substantive law and is open to all students. It offers students their first exposure to mediation in a "real world" setting. Practitioners act as judges and provide instant feedback to the participants. A practitioner also acts as the mediator in the competition.
The first and second place teams of the in-house competitions qualify to represent Seattle University in the ABA Regional competitions. The competitors work with Alternative Dispute Resolution Board and a faculty coach to prepare to compete in these regional competitions. The Alternative Dispute Resolution Board also works to prepare the team for the national competition, should they advance. Participants who participate in the training for an ABA Regional competition may qualify to earn one (1) hour of ungraded academic credit upon certification by the faculty advisor that the participant has satisfactorily performed the duties of team membership.
Judging Competitions: Attorneys and Certified Mediators Wanted
The competitions held at Seattle University depend on the active participation of attorneys and certified mediators in the Puget Sound community. Without community volunteers our competitions would not be a success. Volunteers not only judge the competitions, but also give feedback to competitors and help the competitors learn and sharpen their skills. Mediators are especially important during the spring Mediation Competition, where the certified mediator will act as the mediator between two competing teams.
Competitions are typically held on a Friday evening and last 3 to 4 hours, during which judges have the opportunity to observe and critique Dispute Resolution competitors. Judges are provided all necessary information and the materials provided to the competitors prior to the start of the competition. No particularized knowledge on a specific area of law is required to participate as a judge. Judges typically serve on a three-person panel, providing an opportunity to interact with peers from the legal community.
The Alternative Dispute Resolution Board also works with the Washington State Bar Association to provide CLE credit for volunteers. One hour of CLE credit is typically earned during a competition, depending on the length of competition and the availability of the attorney during the competition.
For additional information or if you are interested in volunteering your time please contact the Dispute Resolution Board either by phone (206) 398-4166; by e-mail DR_Board@Seattleu.edu; or contact our Vice-President of Communications.