Kent law students amongst top client interviewing teams in country

Kent law students Meghan Daniels and Feryel Beyrakdar have proved they are one of the top client interviewing teams in the country after finishing second in the national final of the Client Interviewing Competition for England and Wales.

Meghan and Feryel, both Stage 3 Law LLB students, competed against eight teams in the final, hosted on Saturday at Irwin Mitchell LLP’s Sheffield offices. Each team was required to complete three different interviews, with all cases themed in Family Law.

The competition tests law students on their interviewing and counselling skills and centres on a simulated law office interview. Law students work in teams of two to interview and advise a “client”. Their management of the interview is judged according to criteria which include: establishing a good working relationship with the client; recognising and handling the legal problem; ethical and personal issues; including costs; and finally offering appropriate advice. Details of the assessment criteria are available online.

The competition requires students not merely to know the law relating to a particular subject matter, but also to employ effective interviewing techniques and be aware of a variety of considerations which they might not otherwise appreciate as law students. A post-interview reflection is an integral part of the competition which allows the students to explain their techniques, discuss the law and their projected strategies and provides an opportunity for self-criticism.

Meghan and Feryel (pictured above with Graham Robson, Co-Chair of the Client Interviewing Competition) secured their place in the final after winning a regional heat of the annual competition against teams from University College London, City University and the University of Greenwich. Teams from Kent Law School have successfully reached the national final for the last four successive years, finishing equal 9th in 2015,  5th in 2014, and 7th in 2013.

Client Interviewing is one of three alternative dispute resolution (ADR) options open to students at Kent; the other two are mediation and negotiation. Students can also develop practical legal skills through participation in the work of Kent Law Clinic, mooting and mock trials. Law Lecturer Johanne Thompson, who runs the extra-curricular Client Interviewing module at Kent and who organised this year’s competition, has been invited to assist as a judge in the International Client Consultation Competition taking place in Canada in April.