William & Mary Law School’s Alternative Dispute Resolution and Moot Court teams had plenty to celebrate at the end of spring semester. Not only was the Moot Court team ranked seventh in the nation, but the Law School placed seventh in the 2020-2021 ABA Competitions Championship.
The ABA created this award to recognize law schools that go above and beyond to help prepare their students for practice. Success in these competitions illustrate commitment to providing a well-rounded curriculum and preparing students to become highly skilled lawyers.
“We are proud that the ABA competitions are an important part of the hands-on learning experiences available to your students,” said Erica M. Zepeda, Program Manager of the ABA’s Early Career Strategy Group, in announcing the results.
The ABA considers all of its competitions (Moot Court, Client Counseling, Arbitration, and Negotiations) when it determines the ABA Competitions Champion Awards. The schools whose teams accumulate the most points across all of the ABA competitions win the award.
In addition to the Moot Court team’s advancement to nationals this year, the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team accumulated the majority of William & Mary’s points by winning the ABA Client Counseling competition.
The team of Katheryn Maldonado ’21 and Nick Armah ’21 from William & Mary won the national title in the 2021 ABA Law Student Division Client Counseling Competition on Saturday, March 20. Maldonado and Armah won over the team from Mercer University’s Walter F. George School of Law (second place) and from Campbell University’s Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law (third place). Watch the video. They went on to represent the United States in the 2021 Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition, held virtually and hosted by Swansea University in Wales.
The 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. 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.
“This year’s W&M’s competitors deserve a loud cheer!” said Iria Giuffrida, Professor of the Practice of Law and faculty advisor to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Team. “Our students’ national ranking in this year’s ABA Competitions Championship is a much-deserved recognition of the passion, hard work, and professionalism with which team members approach competitions. I, for one, am in awe of this accomplishment achieved during the very challenging studying and working conditions dictated by the pandemic.”
“Earning this award was a joint effort, and Iria and all of our team members, those who competed and those who prepared our competitors, deserve a hearty congratulations,” said Jennifer R. Franklin, Professor of the Practice of Law and the Moot Court Program's faculty advisor.
Read about the Moot Court Team’s recent ranking as seventh best in the nation.
Thomas Jefferson founded William & Mary Law School in 1779 to train leaders for the new nation. Now in its third century, America’s oldest law school continues its historic mission of educating citizen lawyers who are prepared both to lead and to serve.