The Events and Activities Officers also arrange Client Interviewing, a competition in which you must work as a pair to communicate with and advise a client on a legal matter in a simulated law office environment.
It begins as an internal competition between the UPLS members involved. For this stage local practitioners take the time out of their busy schedule to judge the competition and provide you with feedback. The winners then advance to the regional competition, representing the University of Plymouth. If successful, they will then compete in the national Client Interviewing competition for England and Wales.
This competition allows you to gain a real insight into the practice of law while developing strong interpersonal skills. This is the ideal competition for any aspiring solicitor to be a part of! Do not worry if you do not have a partner to sign up with, the Officers will pair you up with someone that you can enter with so that you can still compete. As a competition that is highly regarded by all prospective employers it is definitely worth giving it a go!
2019/2020 Internal Competition Winners - Ayesha Faraj and Lauren West
Skills you will develop :
Establishing Professional Relationships
2019/2020 Regional Winners - Ayesha Faraj and Lauren West
Experiences of the Competition before Covid-19 "The UPLS Client Interviewing Competition is an experience which develops a multitude of skills essential for future practice in the legal sector. From gathering critical information to using the correct emotional skills to make your client feel comfortable, the diverse skillset acquired throughout the competition allows you to understand the intricacies found within a successful client interview. Winning the competition in 2019 with my partner allowed me to not only add an significant asset to my CV, but also expand my personal and professional development through multiple rounds of feedback. We were also fortunate enough to represent the University in the regional competition for the West of England which we also won. Although the nationals were cancelled, the entire process remains one of my proudest achievements within my time at university, and I would encourage every student regardless of ability to take part." - Ayesha Faraj, 3rd Year LLB Law Student. "The client interviewing competition hosted by the UPLS has been so key and a valuable part of the success I have achieved today. Alongside my law degree I organised the competition once and competed twice, being a semi-finalist of the internal competition in my first year and then winning the internal and regional client interviewing competition in my third year. The competition taught me a variety of skills that I implement in my career progression to this day; communication skills, interviewing, advising and confidence. The competition has not just helped me alongside my undergraduate degree but also when applying for training contracts and attending interviews. Competing and succeeding regionally in the competition has proven to employers that I have gone out of my way to learn new skills that the undergraduate degree does not necessarily teach you but also that I can implement key skills needed to be a lawyer such as interviewing and advising in a pressured environment. The competition has provided me with so many opportunities, such as gaining feedback from professional solicitors across the country, to competing in Plymouth, Cardiff and London I would advice this competition to any aspiring lawyer not just for your CV but the memories and skills you gain along the way!" - Lauren West, 3rd Year LLB Law Student.
Experiences of the Competition during Covid-19 Taking part in the Client Interviewing competition helped me build important skills for my future post graduate studies and career, particularly emotional intelligence when asking a client questions about a very sensitive topic such as domestic violence. This is also a great tool that I am going to express and demonstrate during my applications for the BPC and pupillage. Participating also allowed my public speaking to develop further, because being on a short time frame meant that the questions, I needed to ask had to gain enough important information in order to help the client. Therefore, wording was important. The competition was also judged by people in the legal industry who provided excellent feedback after each round, which I could then demonstrate as each round went on. This was a very good first competition for me to begin with, allowing me to familiarise myself with the process and dip my toe into the Law Society’s events. - Chloe Holman, 2nd Year, LLB Law Student. Last year I signed up to participate in the Client Interviewing competition. As a first-year student and given the competition was online I was unsure of what to expect but I can honestly say that the competition helped improve my confidence in problem solving, communication and quick thinking. The fact that this event was hosted online did not pose as a limitation for my fellow competitors, nor the Events and Activities Officers. The Officers alongside judges Ella and Sophi provided helpful feedback at the end of each round, of what myself and my partner were doing well but also areas which we could work upon, allowing me to improve throughout the competition. I also found the variety of subject areas which the scenarios touched upon, especially useful as it gave me an insight into different areas of law that I had not given much consideration before this. Finally, I would like to add that this competition is a great way to meet other students. Whilst the option is available for you to sign up and compete alongside someone you already know, please do not feel put off entering this competition if you do not have a partner, as speaking from my personal experience, I found that being paired with someone I did not know improved my ability to work as part of a team. - Mollie Pellowe, 2nd Year, LLB Law Student.
To view the 'UPLS Client Interviewing' Facebook page, click here.