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Skills Teams

Find more information about Drake Law School's arbitration team, client counseling team, and negotiations team.

Arbitration Team

As the costs of litigation continue to rise, more and more people are turning to arbitration to solve their disputes. The Drake Law arbitration team offers students the chance to learn about this growing field of law while competing against some of the most talented law students in the country.

Coached by two successful area attorneys, the team provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in the courtroom. Students gain practice questioning a witness, presenting a closing argument, and more. The arbitration team has something to offer for students of all skill levels who are interested in litigation of any kind. Team sponsored by Ruth M. Robinson (LW'75), Ruth Robinson Arbitration and Mediation.

2023-2024 Arbitration Team
Alli Cummings
Madelyn Hurn
Nick Nyblom
Maryellen Wooten
Coaches: Ana Dixit and Ron Forsell

Visit the ABA Arbitration Competition website.

Client Counseling Team

In this competition, teams of two student-lawyers conduct an initial client interview. The "client" is an actor provided by the competition host school. Each interview session allows the team to demonstrate their interviewing and counseling skills (by eliciting the client's problem), as well as their problem-solving abilities (by recommending a tentative course of action for the client).

The interview sessions are observed by panels of judges, who evaluate each team's performance and compare the performance to that of other teams who interviewed the same client. The teams with the best record after three interview sessions compete in playoff interview rounds, from which the competition winner is selected.

The legal subject matter for the competition changes from year to year. The team members must prepare in advance by brushing up on the legal subject matter and by conducting practice interviews. The Law School has many simulation situations, and team members typically spend time preparing for the competition over the semester break, in addition to conducting practice rounds in January and February.

Drake teams have advanced to the semi-final or final competition rounds of the Regional Client Counseling Competition every year since 2006, with the exception of just one year. Drake competed in the National Client Competition finals in 2006, 2010, 2013, and 2016. Drake’s 2013 team captured the national championship and later competed in the International Client Counseling Competition in Glasgow, Scotland.

2022-23 Client Counseling Team
Erik Janss
Harry Merz
Nicole Miller
Courtney Ringhofer

Coach: Natalie Lynner

Visit the ABA Client Counseling Competition website.

Negotiations Team

The ABA Law Student Division Negotiation Competition simulates legal negotiations in which law students, acting as lawyers, negotiate a series of legal problems. The simulations consist of a common set of facts known by all participants and confidential information known only to the participants representing a particular side. All of the simulations deal with the same general topic, but the negotiation situation varies with each round and level of the competition.

Quality representation of clients requires that one be able to negotiate contracts, settlements, and other agreements while working in the field. The competition helps students build these essential skills by negotiating under time constraints and in an area of law with which they may not be familiar. In the competition, those who thrive showcase effective communication and the ability to quickly assess the interests of their client and adversary.

2023-24 Negotiations Team
Mary Claire Finken
William Laursen
David Merchan
Abbey Meyers
Dawnelle Schlagel
Kendra Sparby

Coaches: Jessie Benson and Kayli Paul

Visit the ABA Negotiations Competition website.

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