So, are we tenth?!

April for a team of the Legal Clinic of the UCU School of Law began very unusual. Why? Because Iryna Kanya and Yurii Schvab in the capital of Ireland, Dublin, after winning the Client Consultation Competition in Ukraine, represented Ukraine in the Brown-Mosten International Client Consultation Competition 2019 (ICCC 2019).

As was noted by the manager of the Legal Clinic of the UCU School of Law, Khrystyna Kovtsun, the competition are somewhat unique and not similar, for example, to such popular among law students of moot-courts. The essence of the competition is to establish communication with a client who came to a meeting with lawyers with a certain legal problem. At the same time, the client can be very emotional and drag on the initiative during communication or silent, closed and deliberately hide something. In spite of all this, students need to get all the necessary information about the client’s business, all the important details, to reveal not only legal but also social and moral-ethical problems, and immediately offer the client (actor) several options to get out of the situation. These skills are evaluated by judges of the ICCC. Interestingly, the panel of judges at international competition consists of a practicing lawyer, a lawyer-scientist and a practicing psychologist. Competitors analyze the problem on the basis of the legislation of the country they represent. That is, in our case, Iryna and Yurii consulted an American who is temporarily in Ukraine and faced a legal problem. Representatives from 21 countries took part in the competition this year, including: USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Scotland, Turkey, Croatia, Germany, New Zealand, India, Malaysia, Scotland, Australia, Kenya, the Netherlands and others. That is, the judges heard a legal analysis based on the legislation of so many countries!

“As a team coach, I was present only in the rounds of our students, except the final – says Kkrystyna. – I can definitely say that Ukraine was really well represented on international competition. An indication of this is that our team ranked 10th by rating, dividing it with a team from Switzerland. I am very proud of the success of Iryna and Yurii, even though they struggled with native speakers. During the preparation for the competition, Yurii and Iryna have grown incredibly, compared to national competition. Brilliant legal analysis in the third round, structuring of information, correct statement of questions, obtaining almost all necessary information from the client, proper time management, and most importantly, coordinated team work is just a small list of skills developed and shown by Iryna and Yurii. I would like to thank Iryna and Yurii for the smooth work, taking into account all the tips and remarks, proper training, ingenuity and creative approach. It should also be added that the judges in each round noted the positive points and the high level of counseling by Yurii and Iryna, also gave proper remarks. For myself, I remembered the formulation of one of the judges about the great potential of the team. The level of organization of the Law Society of Irland and the professional level of judges worth a separate article. The presence of Mr. Forest Mosten, a well-known American mediator, lawyer in the field of family law, a law professor and known as “peacemaker who never goes to court,” shows the level of evaluation.

What about the important remarks for the future: we saw in the final as the winning team from the United States (in fact last year the team from the USA also won) consults. There is something very natural-simple in establishing communication, conquering customer confidence from the first word, establishing contact even from the first sight, and, moreover, some kind of self-confidence, full readiness to take the whole situation under its control. These moments, in my opinion, brought a victory to the team from the United States. That is, communication and the ability to present themselves to the client – something I will work on in particular when preparing for the next competition with a team of students. A huge thank you for the financial support of the participants of the competitions of the LU “LF” Grinchuk & Partners “and the LU “LF” Asters”. I also especially thank UCU and the UCU School of Law, indeed, for the whole team for the help, support and advice without which this trip would not have happened. ”

Impressions of the participants of the competition:

Iryna Kanya: “I have very bright impressions after the international rounds of competition. To be honest, I like them more than national rounds in several times. Firstly, the topic of the competition – from corruption crimes to thefts – changed, which was close to me, so I was very fond of the given works. Secondly, the customers at the competitions were professional actors. And it was a real pleasure to advise them. The actors so well passed all the emotions, that at some moments I forgot that this is not a real case, and we are only in the competition. It seemed that from us and the quality of the given consultation really depends on their future. Thirdly, after each speech, we received a very high-quality feedback from the judges, teachers, practitioners lawyers and psychologists were among them, and we will certainly be able to use it in our further professional activities and life in general. The only thing I regret is that I got to know about these competitions too late and I will not be able to participate in them next year. In general, I would recommend to all law students to pay attention to these competitions, because this is really a very useful and cool experience. I did not expect that these competitions will bring not only excitement, but also pleasure from participation. Finally, I would like to thank my teammate Yurii Schvab, without which I would never have been involved in these international rounds, the manager of the Legal Clinic Khrystyna Kovtsun for her patience and coaching, as well as the manager of the Master’s Program Svitlana Khyliuk and Professor Mr. Viacheslav Navrotskyi for significant assistance in preparation. And special thanks to the UCU School of Law for the support provided without which we would not have received this wonderful experience. ”

Yurii Schvab: “The first impressions were weird. A bunch of people from all over the world, different cultures, religions, preferences, manners. I felt what is multiculturalism for the first time. On the first day, they decided to use team secret tactics, but did not work out, as other teams constantly tried to get acquainted. So the first day of the competition has passed. Dating, opening, drawing, communication. On the second day the namely the competition began. We had some preparations and an action plan for each situation (the situation was given to the teams two weeks before the competition). That is, approximately we knew what would be the problem and what to expect from it. The only thing we could not predict is a client type. We did not know if it would be silent or emotional, or closed, whether it would panic or shout. Therefore, it was necessary to act in a situation. I liked the first round, it was about theft in the store. In the process of counseling, we found that the client was a kleptomaniac and foreign, although he was rather closed and did not say much. The second situation was pretty funny. As the judges told us after the round, the client was strong and talkative, so he led the process of counseling. In fact, we were surprised not by the type of client, but by the situation. She referred to Monet paintings that were once stolen. And here we did not know what advice to give. The third situation was perfect. Client (or rather the actress) played her role brilliantly (tears, emotions, pain). We also offered some good solutions to the problem. Everyone liked this round. But unfortunately, in the evening we were told that we did not go further. One thing is certain: the experience we have gained is huge and ready to share it with the next UCU team. Acknowledgments: Mrs. Svitlana Khyliuk, Mr. Viacheslav Navrotskyi – for very helpful advice in the field of criminal law. Mrs. Maria Tsypiashchuk and Mr. Delaine Swenson – for practical advice on how to better advise and organize the entire process. Mr. Ivan Gorodysky – for the support and assistance”.

Publication was prepared by Khrystyna Kovtsun

So, are we tenth?!