Cardiff students show “clarity and compassion” at regional Client Interviewing Competition

28 February 2018

Law students Eleanor Murphy and Jonathan Adcroft who competed in this year's Client Interviewing Competition.
Law students Eleanor Murphy and Jonathan Adcroft who competed in this year's Client Interviewing Competition.

Questioning and listening skills, empathy and commercial awareness were all tested this month at the annual Client Interviewing Competition.

Law students Eleanor Murphy and Jonathan Adcroft, who are both in their second year at the School of Law and Politics, were chosen to compete at this year’s regional competitions which took place simultaneously in Sheffield, London and Bristol.

The Client Interviewing Competition involves teams of student lawyers interviewing new clients for the first time. Their goal is to develop a rapport with the client, discover as much relevant information about the client's concerns as possible, ensure that they understand the problem, give pertinent and relevant legal advice and provide a practical set of options for the client to choose from.

This year’s regional competition took place on 10 February and was entered by 39 universities across England and Wales. Entrants were notified that the topic of law would be contracts: mistakes and other forms of non-performance before the event but were given very limited further information in order to prepare. Entrants had to consider what might emerge, including areas of law as diverse as duress, misrepresentation, unfair terms and conditions and damages.

On the day of the competition Eleanor and Jonathan were required to deal with a complicated legal analysis of quantum of damages from a client who had been forced to cancel a holiday, and an emotionally fragile client who had been left vulnerable by a supplier defaulting on an obligation.

Eleanor and Jonathan dealt with their cases and the range of issues that surfaced with clarity and compassion. Despite performing consistently well throughout the day and scoring highly, they finished fourth out of twelve, narrowly missing out on qualification for the national final of the competition.

Matthew Parry, solicitor advocate, PhD student and trainer for the Cardiff team said, "Eleanor and Jonathan worked with passion and determination to develop their skills and, while preparing, threw themselves into every challenge that I set them, no matter how obscure it appeared, to enhance their chances of success at the competition. They represented Cardiff as ambassadors superbly and should be incredibly proud of their performance and commitment."

The Client Interviewing Competition is just one of the opportunities provided by the School of Law and Politics to help our students develop transferable skills which will be of use in their careers after graduation. Information on our Pro Bono schemes and placements are available on our School website.