Centre for Legal Education

The client interviewing competition 2017/18 has now been concluded. The standard of student performance has been very high this year and made decision making for the judges very difficult.

The final took place on 15 November 2017 in the Legal Advice Centre. The student teams were judged by Faye Deverell (senior supervising solicitor Nottingham Law School Legal Advice Centre), Julie Higginbottom (Nottingham Law School Pastoral Advisor) and myself on a tricky contract law scenario.

Junely Coker and Harnaam Bassan were announced the winners, with the runners up being Tara Meats and Cindy Boateng. Associate Dean, Jenny Chapman presented all the finalists with their prizes.

As a team competition, it has been interesting to observe and feedback on team dynamics in a client interview. Usually, the initial client interview is a solo task but the competition has given the students the opportunity to reflect upon and develop team working relationships in a high pressure situation.

The finalists used good questioning techniques. Of particular note were questions used by the teams which were designed to elicit factual recall and memories. This is addressed in a very useful 2008 article:

Additionally, the counselling part of the interview was given particular focus in relation to the viability of client options. A number of creative solutions were proposed by the teams with a focus on client need, financial and emotional impact being assessed and explained.

A team will now progress to take part in the National Client Interviewing Competition.

Helen Taylor