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January 02, 2010

Fourth Client Counseling Competition Held in Ukraine

January 2010

From December 12–13, the fourth Ukrainian annual national client counseling competition was held in Kyiv. The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), the U.S. Agency for International Development, Ukrinyurkollehiya law firm, the Association of Advocates of Ukraine, DLA PIPER law firm and the Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine jointly hosted the competition. The event involves simulated client interviews and consultations, providing students the opportunity to develop their practical skills to analyze a legal problem and to follow ethical standards.

A total of 24 two-member teams from across Ukraine took part in the competition, which focused on inheritance law. Participants displayed harmonized teamwork, openness to their clients, readiness to explore options for resolving the problem, and correct and logical legal thinking, demonstrating their growing legal knowledge and improving lawyering skills. Donets’k National University and Khmel’nyts’ky University of Management and Law teams were the finalists, with students Maryna Vinner and Kateryna Yevdokymova of Khmel’nyts’ky winning. The winning team will represent Ukraine in the Louis M. Brown International Client Counseling Competition in Hong Kong in April 2010. Ukraine has participated in the international competition for the past four years.

From 1996–2000, ABA ROLI administered the Ukrainian national rounds of the Jessup and Telders international moot court competitions, launching the national competition in 2006 in cooperation with the legal clinic at the Ostroh Academy National University. ABA ROLI has been working to transfer ownership of the national competition, setting up an organizational committee to handle it. As a result, the 2009 competition was held with financial and organizational support from the Ukrinyurkollehiya law firm and the Association of Advocates of Ukraine, while the DLA PIPER law firm and the Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine offered competition venues. Leading Ukrainian attorneys, including Justice Viktor Shyshkin of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine, Oleksandr Skrypnyuk of the Academy of Legal Sciences of Ukraine and Mykola Pavlov of Ukrinyurkollehiya, served as jurors for the competition.

The competition is becoming increasingly popular, with more law students showing interest every year. The number of participating teams has also grown from 16 in 2006 to 24 in 2009.

To learn more about our work in Ukraine, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <[email protected]>.